Tommy Hilfiger Biography

(American Fashion Designer and Founder of ‘Tommy Hilfiger Corporation’)

Birthday: March 24, 1951 (Aries)

Born In: Elmira, New York, United States

Founder of one of the world’s most premium luxury lifestyle brands, Thomas Jacob Hilfiger is the creative genius behind the billion-dollar enterprise, the 'Tommy Hilfiger Corporation'. His label has enjoyed tremendous success across the globe. He has launched men's and women’s clothing lines, a collection of fragrances, sportswear, home furnishings, accessories, and denim. He went on to become one of the wealthiest designers in the market, catering to the needs of hip-hop artists and music industry biggies. His innovative and loud advertising campaigns went a long way in helping him establish himself in the fashion industry. No other American designer of his time managed to prominently put their name and logo on clothes, like the way he did. This caught the attention of the urban youth and he soon opened up a number of stores and franchises across the world. Born in Elmira, New York, Hilfiger displayed creative abilities even as a teenager, buying jeans, remodeling them, and selling them. He began his career with the opening of his store, ‘People’s Place’, after the success of which, he went on to pursue a career as a full-fledged fashion designer.

Quick Facts

Also Known As: Thomas Jacob Hilfiger

Age: 73 Years, 73 Year Old Males


Spouse/Ex-: Dee Ocleppo, Susie

father: Richard

mother: Virginia

siblings: Andy Hilfiger, Betsy, Billy Hilfiger, Ginny

children: Ally Hilfiger, Dee Ocleppo, Richard Hilfiger, Sebastian Thomas Hilfiger

Born Country: United States

Fashion Designers Fashion Entrepreneurs

Height: 5'6" (168 cm), 5'6" Males

political ideology: Democratic

Ancestry: Irish American

City: Elmira, New York

U.S. State: New Yorkers

Founder/Co-Founder: Tommy Hilfiger Corporation

Childhood & Early Life

Tommy was born on March 24, 1951, as Thomas Jacob Hilfiger in Elmira, New York, to jeweler Richard and nurse Virginia. He was the second born of nine children and was raised a Catholic.

He was educated at the Elmira Free Academy in New York. He later went on to attend the GST BOCES Bush Campus. Even as a teenager, he exhibited creative talent - he would buy jeans, remodel them and sell them.

Continue Reading Below
Recommended Lists:

In 1969, when he was around eighteen years old, he opened a store named, ‘People’s Place’, where he sold hippie supplies like perfumed incense, records, and bell-bottoms.

His hippie supply store, ‘People’s Place’ soon became a success and he went on to design for other boutiques. In 1979, he began to pursue a full-fledged career in the field of fashion design.

With the help of a businessman named Mohan Murjani, in 1985, he launched his first signature collection. The collection included chinos, button-down shirts, and other classic fabrics.

In 1985, he launched a successful marketing campaign, hiring the legendary ad man, George Lois. They came out with a billboard in the center of New York’s Times Square.

In the 1990s, the hip-hop world chose to sport his designs, and music personalities like Lenny Kravitz and Aaliyah were part of his advertising campaigns. By this time his designs topped the range of $25 million.

In 1992, he designed clothes for musician Snoop Doggy Dogg, when the latter made his appearance on the TV show, 'Saturday Night Live'. Soon he became a big name and other artists started wearing his designs.

In 1999, he was named one of the main sponsors of singer Britney Spears and her debut concert tour, ‘Baby One More Time Tour’, in support of her debut album of the same name.

Around the year 2000, his professional success began to dwindle down and he started suffering from financial troubles. His designs started losing their popularity with hip-hop artists and sales went down by 75 percent.

In 2005, he was the host and the sponsor of the show titled, ‘The Cut’. This gave the winning contestant a chance to work in close collaboration with him and come out with a designer collection.

Continue Reading Below

As a consequence of declining sales, in 2006, he sold his company for $1.6 billion, or $16.80 a share, to the private investment company, Apax Partners. The following year, he signed a deal with the departmental chain, ‘Macy’s.

In 2009, the company tried its luck at online marketing with the launch of their website, This website gives users the privilege to view the latest cutting-edge Hilfiger Denim collections.

In March 2010, Tommy Hilfiger Corporation was purchased by the American clothing business, Phillips-Van Heusen for $3 billion. In 2012, he joined season 11 of ‘American Idol’ as a fashion consultant to the contestants.

In 2016, he collaborated with Gigi Hadid and launched the ‘TommyXGigi’ clothing collection. That same year, he released his memoir ‘American Dreamer: My Life in Fashion & Business’ which was co-written by Peter Knobler.

Major Works

He is the founder of the 'Tommy Hilfiger Corporation', which as of 2009, is a $6 billion retail clothing line. As of 2009, the business is estimated to have an operating income of $ 1.5 billion and total assets worth $ 8.7 billion.

Awards & Achievements

In 1995, he received the title of ‘Menswear Designer of the Year', which was conferred by the Council of Fashion Designers of America.

In 1998, he received the ‘Designer of the Year ' award, which was conferred by the Parsons School of Design in New York City.

In 2006, he received the Individual Achievement Award from the Hispanic Federation.

In 2009, he received the UNESCO Support Award and the Marie Claire Lifetime Achievement Award.

Personal Life & Legacy

In 1980, he married Susie Alexandria Richard, with whom he fathered four children. They divorced in 2000.

In 2008, he married Dee Ocleppo. They have a son together.

He is a supporter of the global organization 'Breast Health International', which aims at finding solutions for breast cancer.

In 1995, he founded The Tommy Hilfiger Corporate Foundation, which aimed to improve the lives of the youth through education and cultural programs.


This fashionista is the creative genius and mastermind behind the billion-dollar enterprise, the 'Tommy Hilfiger Corporation'.

Recommended Lists:

See the events in life of Tommy Hilfiger in Chronological Order

How To Cite

Article Title
- Tommy Hilfiger Biography
- Editors,

People Also Viewed

Wendy Williams Biography
Wendy Williams
Chloë Sevigny Biography
Chloë Sevigny
Vanessa Williams Biography
Vanessa Williams
Mary-Kate Olsen Biography
Mary-Kate Olsen
Jessica Simpson Biography
Jessica Simpson
Ashley Olsen Biography
Ashley Olsen
Tina Knowles Biography
Tina Knowles
Tom Ford Biography
Tom Ford