BAZAAR EXCLUSIVE: Tommy Hilfiger and Edison Chen Talk About Their 2024 Lunar New Year Collab

American designer Tommy Hilfiger partners with Edison Chen and his Hong Kong-based label CLOT for a special tribute to the Year of the Dragon.

Tommy Hilfiger & Edison Chen

Tommy Hilfiger & Edison Chen

 

Tommy Hilfiger and Edison Chen are determined to make the Year of the Dragon look sharp and stylish. In a partnership where East meets West, the duo presents the Tommy X CLOT collection in time for another season of celebration.

The 23-piece collection sees Tommy Hilfiger’s classic American cool DNA energised by expressions of Asian youth culture, by way of CLOT. BAZAAR catches up with both designers to talk about the merging of their respective brand DNAs and the process behind the Tommy X CLOT collection.

The Tommy X CLOT campaign.

 

How did you first know about CLOT? And what were your initial impressions of the brand?

Tommy Hilfiger (TH): I have always been inspired by working with partners who are moving the bar in pop-culture around the world. CLOT has over 20 years of legacy pioneering the streetwear scene in China, bridging cultures between the East and West. It was clear, CLOT had the potential to bring a unique and authentic Asian perspective to our prep classics, sharing ideas and clashing cultures to create something entirely new. 

What inspired you to collaborate with CLOT? 

TH: The turn of the Lunar New Year is a moment that calls for authentic connection. We share a cross-cultural attitude with CLOT that celebrates the feeling of belonging you find when spending time with your chosen family anywhere in the world. Both our brands are empowered by the idea of culture, community, and the power of connection which made them the perfect partner for this special time of the year. 

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What was it like working with Edison Chen?

TH: It’s always an honour to work with pioneers in youth culture. Edison is a barometer for what’s hot in fashion, entertainment and music in China and his influence has spread throughout the world. 

The Tommy X CLOT campaign brings the message of coming together with your chosen family.

 

The Creative Process

Explain the creative process behind this collection: how did you negotiate the final design between the two of you?

TH: We opened our archives to CLOT and invited them to bring a new perspective to our prep classics. Edison put the meaning and feeling of his culture into the designs with a focus on communicating the dragon’s power, strength and success in a way that is authentic. 

Edison Chen (EC): Every project goes back and forth, back and forth. That’s what a collaboration is, to fully understand each other and make the best product that we could together. If not, then why do we collaborate? So there’s a lot of exchange, a lot of cultural kind of talks on what’s important and how motifs or how we feel letters should be placed. Or in general, just the whole colour palette. So the process wasn’t difficult, but it also wasn’t something that’s super easy.

East meets West in the Tommy X CLOT collection.

 

Did you draw upon characteristics of the Dragon when designing this collection?

EC: The dragon is synonymously associated with Chinese culture, which is why it is in our silk print. It also kind of makes it make sense. Silk is something that is worn during Chinese New Year, our silk pattern happens to have a dragon on it. And it really embeds all of not only CLOT, but Chinese culture in general. 

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I thought mixing it with some culturally diverse vibes shows how you don’t have to be Chinese to be a part of the collective of this capsule or of the feeling we’re trying to portray. So it really encapsulates the East meets West theme without it screaming too much of a kind of international universal language. I think the capsule speaks for itself. And I think CLOT and Tommy coming together already is a cultural smorgasbord of references and culture and history.

Encapsulating the youthful energy of the Tommy X CLOT campaign.

 

A Twist On Some Classics

The collection has a very strong varsity/preppy DNA. Was this deliberate, or did it develop organically?

TH: Giving prep classics a contemporary twist is at the core of our DNA. This collection is an energised expression of our Classic American Cool remixed with Chinese youth culture. An expression of the dragon’s strength, luck and success.

EC: I think every time we do a collaboration, we look at who we’re collaborating with. For me, Tommy is a mix of street and prep. When I first started wearing Tommy Hilfiger, it was very hip-hop related, especially with the logo. But if you look at the core essence and the core value of what Tommy Hilfiger as a brand stands for, it is for the more preppy, sophisticated Ivy League kind of look. So I think it just organically came, just with drawing inspiration on what and who we’re working with.

Preppy classics meet Asian motifs in the Tommy X CLOT collection.

 

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Who is this special collection designed for?

TH: For everyone around the world celebrating the Year of the Dragon. By bringing together our cultures, we are celebrating the feeling of community, belonging and optimism felt during Lunar New Year. Whether you’re at home or with your chosen family abroad, it’s a collection for all those celebrating the occasion globally. 

Your personal favourite piece from the collection?

TH: I love the reversible bomber. Red, white and blue stripes on one side, dark navy with the collaboration monogram on the other. A contemporary take on a prep classic.  

Coming Full Circle

Personally, what makes this collab special to you?

EC: I was influenced by Tommy Hilfiger through hip-hop in the ‘90s, especially through East Coast hip-hop culture. And for me, it’s just a full circle moment. You know, being that I flew to New York to try to find some Tommy Hilfiger and now years later, I get to do a CLOT and Tommy Hilfiger capsule. And being able to put my imprint on the brand is something that I never thought could happen. This capsule is trying to pay a throwback to the days of when I first became a Tommy Hilfiger fan. But also an ode to Tommy and the brand. In the way that we’ve translated our idea into a more mature and more well put together direction.

Celebrating a sense of togetherness and community with the Tommy X CLOT collection.

 

Check out our January ’24 digital cover featuring looks from Tommy X CLOT and find out more about the collection here. To shop for the collection, visit the link here.

 

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