About Tommy Hilfiger
Thomas Jacob "Tommy" Hilfiger (born March 24, 1951) is an American
fashion designer and founder of the premium lifestyle brand Tommy Hilfiger.
Hilfiger was born in Elmira, New York. The second of nine children, he grew up in
an Irish-American family; he claims direct descendence from Scottish poet Robert Burns.
His parents originally intended for him to be an engineer. He attended Elmira Free
Academy for high school. He also attended GST BOCES Bush Campus in Elmira,
New York for Fashion Design. Rather than furthering his education, he started to
work in retail at the age of 18. Hilfiger would go to New York City to buy jeans and
bell-bottom pants, which he customized and resold at a local downtown Elmira store, Brown's.
He later opened his own store, named The People's Place, around the block in downtown Elmira.
Over the years, a number of stores closed in downtown Elmira as shopping traffic shifted
to the new Arnot Mall in Horseheads, New York. After seven years, The People's Place went
bankrupt, when Hilfiger was 25. The site of the original store has since been demolished
to make room for First Arena, home of the Elmira Jackals Hockey team.
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