AMERICAN DREAMER by Tommy Hilfiger


My Life in Fashion & Business
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A memoir from the famed fashion designer.

Born in Elmira, New York, in 1951, Hilfiger had eight siblings and came of age during the 1960s, when bell-bottoms, fringed leather vests, sandals, and long hair on men were all the rage. Dyslexia, an abusive father, and a full household turned him into a dreamer from an early age, and his five sisters made him aware of the current fashions. While still in high school, Hilfiger and two of his friends opened a clothing shop in an unused basement and found success. After attending a boutique show in New York City, Hilfiger had an epiphany. "I had never given real thought to designing,” he writes, “but at that moment it came to me: ‘This is what I want to do in life. I want to create a line of clothes. I want to be the one who picks the colors, the fabrics, who designs the pockets.’ "Of course, he went on to design far more than just one line of clothing, creating a global fashion empire in the process. Hilfiger's autobiography is typically full of family stories and candid assessments of his personal successes and failures. While chronicling the rises and falls of his various clothing endeavors, he openly discusses his early drug use and partying, his love of music, his father's abusive nature, his siblings, his marriage and subsequent children, his divorce, and his second marriage. His commentary provides a unique look into the fashion world and helps explain how clothing can make a statement based simply on a particular style of stitching or pocket design. The Tommy Hilfiger brand is known for its "preppy, all-American classics," and Hilfiger fits the bill for an American dreamer who succeeded in grabbing the American dream.

An honest, straightforward, mostly entertaining autobiography of the man who created a classic yet hip line of clothing.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-101-88621-2
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Ballantine
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2016


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