Tommy Hilfiger to Unveil Tommy Factory, a Warhol-inspired Creative Playground

Tommy Factory is coming this fall, and it’s expected to be an experience.

“Tommy Factory isn’t a physical space, it’s a state of mind,” said Tommy Hilfiger, discussing the fall 2022 experiential creative playground he’s introducing inspired by Andy Warhol’s famed New York studio.

Tommy Factory will come to life through a fall 2022 ad campaign breaking Sept. 12 that features cross-generational Futuremakers captured through a red, white and blue lens. With Tommy Hilfiger set to return to New York Fashion Week on Sept. 11, as reported, the company’s “See Now, Buy Now” platform will build on the city’s pop culture history and iconic Warhol Factory as a deconstructed artistic space that recognizes creativity and self-expression.

Andy Warhol, who died in 1987, remains one of the most influential figures in contemporary art and culture. His impact as an artist has gone well beyond Campbell’s Soup cans and Brillo boxes, and his work narrowed the gap between high and low culture.

Once the epicenter of New York’s creative scene, Warhol’s Factory was a collision of people and subcultures, lo-fi and hi-tech, style and creativity. The cultural revolution that it inspired in the ’60s continued to influence pop culture through the ’70s and ’80s, a time when Hilfiger visited the Factory and met with Warhol himself.

“Andy’s fascination with pop culture always captured the heart and spirit of the American society. His ability to connect with what was most relevant has never ceased to inspire me in everything I do,” Hilfiger said. “New York City is where Andy brought fashion, art, music and entertainment together when I was first starting out in the industry. The Factory was the place to be. And today, it is still his approach that drives me to engage with the cutting-edge communities building new creative experiences.”

Andy Warhol and Tommy Hilfiger
Andy Warhol and Tommy Hilfiger
CREDIT: Courtesy of Tommy Hilfiger

The designer recalled the first time he ever met Warhol, when Hilfiger was having lunch at Le Cirque with Mohan Murjani, who introduced them. Warhol was having lunch with designer Stephen Sprouse.

“[Warhol] invited me to his studio and I was absolutely in awe. I loved the way he brought fashion, art, music, entertainment and celebrity together,” Hilfiger said. “He was really like a magnet for all these people. They were all intrigued by his creativity. I remember the  first time I was in his factory I was walking around and there were paintings all over the floor, and The Velvet Underground was in one section of the building with their band set up for a rehearsal. They were filming a movie in the basement.”

Hilfiger said he stayed friends with Warhol until his death. “He really inspired me to embrace pop culture and bring that into the core of my business.”

As for how they’re reflecting Warhol’s Factory in the Tommy Factory, Hilfiger said, “We’re creating a clash of cultures, past, present and future, classic and modern. It’s really a collision of classics and the Futuremakers.”

Michael Dayton Hermann, director of licensing, marketing and sales at The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, said, “The creative energy of New York City is an unstoppable force that continues to bring together an inspiring diversity of talent, just as it did at Andy Warhol’s Factory. We are honored that Tommy Hilfiger’s campaign pays unique homage to Andy Warhol and will generously support the philanthropic activity of The Warhol Foundation.”

The campaign was shot by Craig McDean in the Bronx, N.Y., and styled by Katie Grand. The ads are fronted by Kate Moss and her daughter and model, Lila Moss for the first time in a campaign together. In addition, there’s Travis Barker, drummer of Blink-182 and producer; Grammy-winning artist, Golden Globe- and Emmy-nominated actor Anthony Ramos; multi-Grammy Award-winning recording artist, songwriter and composer Jon Batiste; street pop artist Mr. Brainwash; Wigstock drag legend Lady Bunny, and tattoo artist Steve Wiebe.

Hilfiger said they’re all together in the images “and it’s a mash-up of all the different talent, and I wanted it to be part of what I call F.A.M.E. — fashion, art, music and entertainment, and I wanted to bring it all together to celebrate the clash of the culture.”

Ads will appear in 3D out-of-home activations in London Piccadilly Lights and in Chengdu, China. There will also be a fully integrated global digital plan across CTV, or connected TV, in the U.S. only, YouTube, social media and mobile. In Dubai, Hilfiger plans to completely take over the Burj Khalifa tower, and in the U.S., they will run out-of-home advertising. There will be a painted wall on the corner of Lafayette and Canal Streets in New York, digital bus shelters, urban panels and wild postings. Additional out-of-home placements will be in Berlin, Paris and Milan.

As part of Tommy Factory, Hilfiger’s experiential event during NYFW will amplify the power of the individual through installations inspired by Warhol’s 15 minutes of fame spirit, reimagined for today, uniting guests and models alike within the phygital space.

“We want to create an event that will be diverse, inclusive, democratic and to be a positive platform for the brand. It will be the first in the industry to create a circular content moment, linking the IRL and URL for fashion week,” he said. All of those featured in the campaign will be at the show, and some will be modeling. The brand plans to feature 80 to 100 looks during his NYFW show.

Hilfiger is still a believer in the “See Now, Buy Now” catwalk, which he has termed his show. “People want immediate gratification, they really don’t want to wait, and when they see something they like they want to buy it and wear it the next day,” Hilfiger said. The company will show the fall 2022 Hilfiger collection, menswear and womenswear on the runway.

The Tommy Factory experience will take place at 7 p.m. on Sept. 11 at Skyline Drive-In in Brooklyn, with a synchronized metaverse activation. In an industry first, IRL show footage from the “See Now, Buy Now” catwalk will be livestreamed into the Tommy Play experience on Roblox, which has more than 50 million daily users, accompanied by avatars dressed in fall 2022 Tommy Hilfiger styles who will take over the remixed virtual city of New York. Every style hitting the physical runway will be available to purchases globally through Tommy Hilfiger’s “See Now, Buy Now” concept, including digital product exclusives on Roblox.

All the installations and the experiences at the runway show will be about fashion, art, music and entertainment and the Tommy Factory experiential playground, Hilfiger said. There will be a lot going on even before the show starts. “It’s all going to be inspired by Andy Warhol’s studio factory,” he said.

The Andy Warhol Foundation, founded in 1987, in accordance with Warhol’s will, has established itself among the leading funders of contemporary art in the U.S. The foundation has distributed more than $250 million in cash grants, which supports the creation, presentation, documentation of contemporary visual arts, particularly work that is experimental, under-recognized or challenging in nature. Proceeds the foundation received from licensing projects such as the Hilfiger one contribute to the foundation’s endowment from which these grants are distributed. Hilfiger declined to disclose the financial terms of the partnership.

This story was reported by WWD and originally appeared on WWD.com.

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