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TOMMY HILFIGER sets the stage for the evolution of runway shows as entertainment, cruising into the the future and showboating along the way.


Tommy Hilfiger sailed into Park Avenue Armory this week, transforming this arena-sized venue into a cruise liner and weighing anchor for a case of ‘fashion as entertainment.’ Like a cruise director, Hilfiger and team concepted not simply an event to entertain the 2,000 or so guests, but to create a social media moment that could reach millions. Along the way, charting a course for other brands to follow.

Every detail was well conceived as the entertainment started with the invitations themselves, which were designed as boarding passes that sported navy blue nautical rope tied to their ends. Upon entering, the Armory was brought to life with a full-sized boat, complete with a shuffleboard. Instagram was flooded with images of the set before the first model even stepped foot on the ship’s deck.

Hilfiger recognizes the power and influence of social media mavens, the power of digital influencers who attend shows, but are typically like everyone else, watching the show rather than participating in it. During those 14 minutes or so, those social media mavens are reporters along with everyone else. However, for this show, Hilfiger cleverly took the most influential people in the media business and incorporated them as ‘part of the show’, seating them on the boat deck facing the audience and the models. They were as much part of the show as the set and models, further endearing them to the brand to spread the word as well as giving fodder for the media that covers them. On deck were fashion favorites Lucky Blue Smith and Suki Waterhouse. In addition, high profile Instagrammers were granted VIP access to the “Instapit,” which gave them prime seating to capture the perfect Instagram. Tommy Hilfiger didn’t just create something worth photographing, he strategically placed leading social media personalities in a spot that allowed them to publicize his work from a first-hand experience.

While most shows are filmed with a simple straightforward camera and perhaps one to the side, Hilfiger recognizes that this is entertainment and a sporting event similar to the Super Bowl. He mimicked camera styles of sports television by capturing aerial panoramas along with slow motion action shots.

It’s about a transatlantic journey, a voyage. It’s about mixing vintage with modern. It’s about sexy, it’s about fun.

- Tommy Hilfiger

Cruising through Fashion Week with ease, Hilfiger polished off his show to the tune of Michael Jackson. This show also had some new faces moon-walking past land dwellers, including Victoria’s Secret Angel, Taylor Hill.

Tommy Hilfiger set sail to foreign shores, expanding the brand’s reach beyond his direction. He didn’t just create a fashion show, he created a moment, an experience and something worth talking about.

The showboat navigated through Fashion Week with a sense of poise and absolute genius. Tommy Hilfiger isn’t just in the business of fashion, he is an entertainer known for creating shows that steer past expectations, constructing astonishing works of art, and his Fall 2016 show was built to fashionably entertain.