We speak with Chief Brand Officer, Avery Baker, about Tommy Hilfiger’s Stadium of Staging

By Kenneth Richard | The Impressionist

Who other than American’s apple pie designer, Tommy Hilfiger, to tackle football’s spirit with a set on scale with a Super Bowl production. For his Tommy Hilfiger Collection show at New York’s Armory, Tommy led his team in an ode to Friday Night Lights. He charged them with not only getting on field but to build the field itself in what is the best set to hit NYFW so far this season.

Enlisting fellow coaches including KCD Productions and set designer Randall Peacock, the designer built a full-fledged stadium complete with bleachers, locker rooms, field goal post, scoreboards, and a jumbo screen to give the fans all the details and instant replays. The Impression sat with Tommy Hilfiger’s Chief Brand Officer, Avery Baker, to get the inside scoop on the post game.

Avery, thanks for chatting with us. Talk about putting fashion into an arena. Tommy dreams big. How did this  Super Bowl spectacular come about?
As you know, what we really love to do for our shows is to tell a story. We try to take a slice of American culture and lifestyle and create something that’s really transporting for our guests and our spectators to participate in. When we were playing with this particular season and the collection, we looked at all of the sporty elements to a lot of the pieces in the line. Also, in light of Tommy’s anniversary, we were talking about all of the themes and it became obvious that we should peruse this American football idea. For a lot of our international guests, American football is a bit exotic, even though it’s super mainstream for America. We had a lot of creative conversations with Tommy, KCD, and Karl and we wanted to bring that whole authentic American game to life.

Well, you did an amazing job. Was impressed with how holistic it was from the helmets, to the football cards to the jumbotron. So, just how many football puns did all of you come up with while building this?
(Laughs) The funny thing is the majority of the people who worked on the show were European. Tommy and I became the real reference point to all aspects of football so it was really a very funny experience. They were like ‘What’s that thing called where you have the letters at the end field?’ and we were like ‘Oh, you mean the end-zone.’ It was really funny. There were a lot of conversations about the pitch (European term for a soccer field) versus the field and the scoreboard. It was so much fun to work on and that really came through, as you can see in all the details.

Certainly came through. Know you partnered with KCD Productions and set designer Randall Peacock on development. How long did it take?
We were in that space for about 5 days before the show and prior to that I would say it was a three to four month period where we were looking at extremely detailed renderings of how this would come to life. We’ve worked with Randall for quite a few years now, and it’s been a great collaborative effort with him. Also Karl Templer, our stylist, and Julie Mannion of KCD and Nian Fish were really involved. We spent months exploring, not just how it looks from a macro prospective but also a micro prospective like the colors and if they need to be modified to complement the collection in the best way. Also once we were in the space, we were still modifying and tweaking at the last minute. As you can see, it takes a significant amount of time to really bring it to life but the best moment is when you can walk in the night before and really experience the ‘wow’ factor in a three dimensional way.

You’re making it seem like one of those American sports movies where the athletes visit the field the night before the big game. How hard was it to keep Tommy off that field?
It was pretty hard! We couldn’t keep him away and of course he came the night before. It’s exactly how you described and you really do get that pre-game excitement. Tommy absolutely loved it. Obviously it’s an inspiration that’s very close to his heart. He came out with that helmet at the end of the show and he probably would have loved to have come out in a full football uniform.  In the end, he went with just the helmet and was super excited about the whole story.

Super indeed! Congrats again on the Super Bowl of sets.
Thanks, Kenneth.

Tommy Hilfiger Field 1 Tommy Hilfiger Field 2 0107 0109 0114 0116 0121 0122 0127 0128 0130 0141 0145 0149 0165 0177 0185 0210 0260 0263 0268 0291 0293 0296 0301 Hilfiger atm RF15 8404 Hilfiger atm RF15 8463 Hilfiger atm RF15 8490 Hilfiger RF15 1376

Production | KCD Production
Set Design | Randall Peacock