Hangman advert by Tommy Hilfiger, 1985. Photo. Getty.So, back in 1986, the arrival of his eponymous fashion brand was heralded by a giant billboard in the heart of Manhattan theatreland comparing the then-unknown Hilfiger with the triumvirate of American greats (and household names) - Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein and Perry Ellis.
"Actually, his first idea was to show pictures of Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein with a big X drawn through them," explains Hilfiger, "saying these are the old and a picture of me saying he is the new. I said, 'Absolutely not! I can't do that. I won't do that!'"
In 1985, a relatively unknown fashion designer called Tommy Hilfiger opened his first store. Soon, he would become a household name—thanks to a moment of marketing genius. From The Economist’s 1843 magazine