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SHIRTING TOMMY: Tommy Hilfiger, the new patron of Germany’s Designer for Tomorrow competition, sponsored by specialty store chain Peek & Cloppenburg, was in town Wednesday to join the jury in determining the 2014 winner: Milanese men’s wear designer Matteo Lamandini. A photo in the DFT program notes shows Hilfiger checking out some tartan and glen plaid swatches, similar to those Lamandini freely combines in his playful Zoot Suit renditions which all feature what he hopes will be a signature left sleeve where the fabric runs on the diagonal.
In addition to being able to develop and present a DFT show collection for 2015, Lamandini will have the chance to experience the Hilfiger organization from the inside, possibly involved with the global brand’s runway collection as it is developed in Italy. His native language, Hilfiger noted, will be an asset when dealing with suppliers and contractors.
Besides his hang to plaids, winner Lamandini took to the runway wearing a shirt that looked Hilfiger bound: a relaxed white cotton model with little slits on the shoulder revealing a touch of red plaid underneath.
As for Hilfiger, his DFT mentor role is not his only reason for spending more time in Germany. “Our managing director in Germany has built a phenomenal business. It’s our second largest markets,” Hilfiger told WWD. The business is a good balance between company owned stores and wholesale clients, with flagships in all cities as well as outlying malls, he said. And while a global brand, the company allows the collection to be shaped for local needs. As a result, Hilfiger said he only buys his (Tommy Hilfiger) dress shirts in Germany. “They use the best fabrics and are made in Italy,” he remarked.