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A STAR IS WORN! CREATING A CELEBRITY WITH TWO OUTRAGEOUS ADS.

The young designer with a boyish grin and an unpronounceable name was totally unknown when he was launched with a Tommy Hilfiger store on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. My opening ad challenged the reader with an audacious claim. Overnight, the burning question in town became “Who the hell is T_ _ _ _ H_ _ _ _ _ _ _?” Tommy Hilfiger became instantly famous and set off an avalanche of national publicity within days. Knowing we struck gold, I then positioned him in three successive spreads as the leader of fashion’s third wave of designers: “First there was Geoffrey Beene, Bill Blass and Stanley Blacker...Then Calvin Klein, Perry Ellis and Ralph Lauren...” followed by Tommy’s impish face pissing off every inhabitant of the Seventh Avenue schmatte business. This opening campaign outrageously put Tommy Hilfiger on everyone’s lips and millions of backs with a mere $200,000 budget. This original 1985 Tommy campaign was a self-fulfilling prophecy, because the young Hilfiger soon became the most famous and successful designer brand in the world.

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