Tommy Hilfiger Credits Russell Simmons For His Impact On Streetwear Apparel In The 90s, ‘He said To Me, Street Kids and Rappers Wear My Clothes To Feel Rich’

Photo Credit: Unsplash/ Victor Ajibola

Tommy Hilfiger took his hat off to Russell Simmons who he credited for his rise amongst the hip-hop community throughout the 1990s. 

The founder of the American luxury brand spoke with The Guardian in a featured piece about his impact on fashion where he thanked hip-hop legend Russell Simmons for his advice on incorporating hip-hop into his brand. 

“It was actually Russell Simmons, who really is one of the godfathers of hip hop, who said to me that young street kids and rappers wanted to wear the clothes because they wanted to look rich,”

Hilfiger said. Simmons has had a huge impact on fashion and streetwear apparel himself with the launch of his brand Phat Farm in 1992. The brand was later expanded by his then-wife Kimora Lee Simmons, who developed a line for women called Baby Phat in 1999.

Although Tommy Hilfiger’s clothing was already highly regarded among the rich, it wasn’t until hip hop accepted his brand that his career soared to new heights, he admitted. He saw the demand for streetwear attire, baggy clothing, and hip-hop style and collaborated with artists such as Aaliyah and Snoop Dogg making him hip-hop’s new designer.

“They wanted everything way, way oversized because they were buying sizes that were way too large. And so I started just making oversized, and it was a perfect storm. I was dressing Puff Daddy for his tours. I was dressing Biggie Smalls. I was dressing Tupac,”

he recalled.

Hilfiger has been accused in the past of making racist remarks on

“The Oprah Winfrey Show”

where he allegedly said he didn’t make his clothes for Black, Jewish, or Asian people. Now Hilfiger has spoken out about the rumors against him.

“It was devastating that people would think that I would really think that way. And I think people who know me knew that it wasn’t true,”

he told the Guardian about the fabricated story.

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