Rumor has it that in 1996, Tommy Hilfiger, the owner of the popular apparel conglomerate said that his cloths were not designed for people of color. He has since denied such rumors explaining that though such reputation didn’t hurt his bottom line, it did hurt his heart. Whether it’s a rumor, a fabricated lie, or a fact, the point is Tommy Hilfiger understands the spending power of people of color, and doesn’t appear to want to be on their wrong side.
In 2015, Black buying power was 1.1 trillion dollars. Similarly, according to Nelson research, there are about 57 million Hispanic population in the United States, and the trajectory looks upward. It’s just not good for a brand to be on the wrong side of the minority population. They are the consumers of today and of tomorrow.
Search the internet now, and you’ll see it littered with lots of counter propaganda efforts, or what’s referred to these days as reputation management. Hilfiger recently went as far as having Zendeya cast all black models, 59 of them – from between the age of 18 to 70 – not just the typically targeted age for Tommy Hilfiger’s wears. He had runway for his collection show in Paris this past March. Zendeya has an African American father. She’s acceptably White and able to access all the privileges that come with that identity. She’s a singer and an actress with a huge social media influence. She fits the perfect “racially ambiguous” profile that most casting agencies seek these days for their projects to help appeal to the biggest pot of the century-the melting one.
But @TommyHilfiger isn’t stopping there. Now, he’s coming to the one and only Apollo Theatre in Harlem this September along with same Zendeya to “ celebrate inclusion and diversity.”
TommyHilfiger will stand on the same stage that has carried the weight of black legends like Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Chaka Khan, Michael Jackson, The Jackson 5, Duke Ellington, Smokey Robinson, George Clinton, Steve Wonder, Diana Ross, and many more- to say ‘I’m with you’.
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