Of all the labels and designers that rolled out aggressive marketing campaigns for New York Fashion Week, Tommy Hilfiger’s collaboration with Gigi Hadid was probably the biggest. The hype started brewing months ago with ads posted in countless subway stations across the five boroughs. The actual ad design was nothing groundbreaking, featuring the model posing in nautical-themed clothing next to the phrase “TOMMY X GIGI.” The sheer ubiquity of the posters, though, was where the power was. New Yorkers seemed unable to walk more than a block or two, above ground or underground, without encountering one of the ads.

 

When New York Fashion Week finally arrived, it became clear that the barrage of advertising was not all talk. Tommy x Gigi transformed all of Lower Manhattan’s Pier 16 into an actual carnival for the Friday night show. There were rides, like a 40-foot ferris wheel, and concession stands where invited guests could order classic carnival fare. A temporary tattoo parlor and a multitude of fair games drove home the atmosphere as well—at some points, the pier looked more like the venue for a lower Manhattan street fair than it did a runway.

 

(Vogue)

(Vogue)

When the actual show began, the outfits did not disappoint either. Hadid opened the show herself, pacing down the runway in leather pants paired with a naval-inspired jacket, setting the tone for the rest of the outfits on display. The colors for the night were classic Tommy Hilfiger; red, white, and navy covered nearly every model that strutted down the pier. Those colors were paired, however, with chic silhouettes. There were short shorts, crop tops, and long sweaters galore. Sweater dresses and long outerwear reminded viewers that there were two collaborators for the collection, and both came through in every outfit to complete the trendy, nautical bonanza on the water.

 

Though the affair was only open to those high-profile individuals who were invited, the attractions on the pier stayed open the day after for those not in the loop to explore and enjoy. By allowing the public to roam free in their larger-than-life creation, Tommy Hilfiger and Gigi Hadid really engaged the local community, which is a win-win. Inhabitants of lower Manhattan and fans of the model and the brand were able to connect with the brand, and making that connection is a surefire way to boost sales. In every regard, Hilfiger and Hadid hit this one out of the park, and we can only hope to see similar engagement from other brands and fashion personalities.

 

Did you visit Tommy and Gigi’s Pier 16? Tell me about it here or on Twitter @BillChangNY