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American Dreamer: My Life in Fashion & Business
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Random House Publishing Group 2016
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In this tale of grit and glamour, setbacks and comebacks, business and pop culture icon Tommy Hilfiger shares his extraordinary life story for the first time.
Few designers have stayed on top of changing trends the way Tommy Hilfiger has. Fewer still have left such an indelible mark on global culture. Since designing his first collection of “classics with a twist” three decades ago, Tommy Hilfiger has been synonymous with all-American style—but his destiny wasn’t always so clear. Growing up one of nine children in a working-class family in Elmira, New York, Tommy suffered from dyslexia, flunked sophomore year of high school, and found himself constantly at odds with his father. Nevertheless, this self-described dreamer had a vision and the relentless will to make it a reality. At eighteen he opened his own clothing store, parlaying his uncanny instinct for style into a budding career as a fashion designer. Through decades of triumph and turmoil, Tommy remained doggedly optimistic. To this day, his approach to commerce is rooted in his positive view of the world.
American Dreamer brims with anecdotes that cover Tommy’s years as a club kid and scrappy entrepreneur in 1970s New York as well as unique insights into the exclusive A-list personalities with whom he’s collaborated and interacted, from Mick Jagger and David Bowie to Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein. But this is more than just a fashion icon’s memoir—it’s a road map for building a brand, both professionally and personally. Tommy takes us behind the scenes of every decision—and every mistake—he’s ever made, offering advice on leadership, business, team-building, and creativity. 
This is the story of a true American original, told for the first time in his own words, with honesty, humor, and the insatiable appetite for life and style that proves that sometimes you have to dream big to make it big.
Praise for American Dreamer
“A unique look into the fashion world . . . an honest, straightforward, mostly entertaining autobiography of the man who created a classic yet hip line of clothing.”Kirkus Reviews
“Fashionistas and business gurus alike will glean important lessons from Hilfiger’s rags-to-riches rag-trade story.”Booklist
“Tommy burst onto the fashion scene at the height of hip-hop and was instantly taken up by rappers and rockers alike. Since then, year after year he has been ahead of the curve with his elegant and stylish looks. His creative energy has always been an inspiration to me. He’s really himself in American Dreamer.”—Mick Jagger
"In American Dreamer Tommy shows how he has taken the (rock) stars and the (preppy) stripes and come up with a look—and a label—that are recognized globally as being quintessentially American, as well as a brand that constantly keeps time with pop music.”—Anna Wintour
“Tommy is an inspiration to many people. American Dreamer shows how he has managed to be successful in business and done so with integrity.”—David Beckham 
“Tommy is one of the most genuine people I know! In American Dreamer you can feel his passion pour through everything he does: fashion, fatherhood, family, and friendship!”—Alicia Keys
“Tommy Hilfiger is an American icon who was able to transcend fashion and blend it with pop culture and take it to a worldwide audience. American Dreamer documents how, unlike any other designer, Tommy...
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Street Date:
11/01/2016
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781101886229
ASIN:
B013NIF92O
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APA Citation (style guide)

Tommy Hilfiger. (2016). American Dreamer: My Life in Fashion & Business. Random House Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Tommy Hilfiger. 2016. American Dreamer: My Life in Fashion & Business. Random House Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Tommy Hilfiger, American Dreamer: My Life in Fashion & Business. Random House Publishing Group, 2016.

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Tommy Hilfiger. American Dreamer: My Life in Fashion & Business. Random House Publishing Group, 2016.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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      • bioText: Tommy Hilfiger is known for classic, all-American style that melds pop culture and the preppy East Coast lifestyle. Raised in Elmira, New York, the second of nine children, he opened a clothing store with $150 in 1969 while still in high school. Hilfiger launched his namesake fashion label in 1985, and the brand quickly expanded to include womenswear, Hilfiger Denim, kidswear, accessories, fragrance, and homeware. In the 1990s, he was one of the first designers to blend fashion and celebrity, sponsoring tours for rock legends such as the Rolling Stones and featuring musicians such as Lenny Kravitz, David Bowie, and Beyoncé in his iconic advertising campaigns. In 2012, the Council of Fashion Designers of America honored him with the Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award. Hilfiger is based in New York City and Greenwich, Connecticut, and has five children and two stepchildren with his wife, Dee.
         
        Peter Knobler has collaborated on several bestsellers, including Sumner Redstone’s A Passion to Win and Mary Matalin and James Carville’s All’s Fair. He has written books with NYPD commissioner Bill Bratton, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, New York City mayor David Dinkins, and Texas governor Ann Richards, among others. Knobler is the former editor in chief of Crawdaddy, “the first magazine to take rock music seriously” (The New York Times). He lives in New York City.
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publishDate
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isOwnedByCollections
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title
American Dreamer
fullDescription
In this tale of grit and glamour, setbacks and comebacks, business and pop culture icon Tommy Hilfiger shares his extraordinary life story for the first time.
Few designers have stayed on top of changing trends the way Tommy Hilfiger has. Fewer still have left such an indelible mark on global culture. Since designing his first collection of “classics with a twist” three decades ago, Tommy Hilfiger has been synonymous with all-American style—but his destiny wasn’t always so clear. Growing up one of nine children in a working-class family in Elmira, New York, Tommy suffered from dyslexia, flunked sophomore year of high school, and found himself constantly at odds with his father. Nevertheless, this self-described dreamer had a vision and the relentless will to make it a reality. At eighteen he opened his own clothing store, parlaying his uncanny instinct for style into a budding career as a fashion designer. Through decades of triumph and turmoil, Tommy remained doggedly optimistic. To this day, his approach to commerce is rooted in his positive view of the world.
American Dreamer brims with anecdotes that cover Tommy’s years as a club kid and scrappy entrepreneur in 1970s New York as well as unique insights into the exclusive A-list personalities with whom he’s collaborated and interacted, from Mick Jagger and David Bowie to Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein. But this is more than just a fashion icon’s memoir—it’s a road map for building a brand, both professionally and personally. Tommy takes us behind the scenes of every decision—and every mistake—he’s ever made, offering advice on leadership, business, team-building, and creativity. 
This is the story of a true American original, told for the first time in his own words, with honesty, humor, and the insatiable appetite for life and style that proves that sometimes you have to dream big to make it big.
Praise for American Dreamer
“A unique look into the fashion world . . . an honest, straightforward, mostly entertaining autobiography of the man who created a classic yet hip line of clothing.”Kirkus Reviews
“Fashionistas and business gurus alike will glean important lessons from Hilfiger’s rags-to-riches rag-trade story.”Booklist
“Tommy burst onto the fashion scene at the height of hip-hop and was instantly taken up by rappers and rockers alike. Since then, year after year he has been ahead of the curve with his elegant and stylish looks. His creative energy has always been an inspiration to me. He’s really himself in American Dreamer.”—Mick Jagger
"In American Dreamer Tommy shows how he has taken the (rock) stars and the (preppy) stripes and come up with a look—and a label—that are recognized globally as being quintessentially American, as well as a brand that constantly keeps time with pop music.”—Anna Wintour
“Tommy is an inspiration to many people. American Dreamer shows how he has managed to be successful in business and done so with integrity.”—David Beckham 
“Tommy is one of the most genuine people I know! In American Dreamer you can feel his passion pour through everything he does: fashion, fatherhood, family, and friendship!”—Alicia Keys
“Tommy Hilfiger is an American icon who was able to transcend fashion and blend it with pop culture and take it to a worldwide audience. American Dreamer documents how, unlike any other designer, Tommy...
reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        October 1, 2016
        A memoir from the famed fashion designer.Born in Elmira, New York, in 1951, Hilfiger had eight siblings and came of age during the 1960s, when bell-bottoms, fringed leather vests, sandals, and long hair on men were all the rage. Dyslexia, an abusive father, and a full household turned him into a dreamer from an early age, and his five sisters made him aware of the current fashions. While still in high school, Hilfiger and two of his friends opened a clothing shop in an unused basement and found success. After attending a boutique show in New York City, Hilfiger had an epiphany. "I had never given real thought to designing, he writes, but at that moment it came to me: This is what I want to do in life. I want to create a line of clothes. I want to be the one who picks the colors, the fabrics, who designs the pockets. "Of course, he went on to design far more than just one line of clothing, creating a global fashion empire in the process. Hilfiger's autobiography is typically full of family stories and candid assessments of his personal successes and failures. While chronicling the rises and falls of his various clothing endeavors, he openly discusses his early drug use and partying, his love of music, his father's abusive nature, his siblings, his marriage and subsequent children, his divorce, and his second marriage. His commentary provides a unique look into the fashion world and helps explain how clothing can make a statement based simply on a particular style of stitching or pocket design. The Tommy Hilfiger brand is known for its "preppy, all-American classics," and Hilfiger fits the bill for an American dreamer who succeeded in grabbing the American dream. An honest, straightforward, mostly entertaining autobiography of the man who created a classic yet hip line of clothing.

        COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        October 1, 2016
        Growing up as one of nine children in Elmira, New York, in the 1950s, Hilfiger could hardly imagine that one day he'd be jet-setting to Hong Kong and India, London and Paris, rubbing elbows with rock-and-roll royalty such as Mick Jagger, and underwriting some of the world's most charitable causes. Yet with a tenacity remarkable in a teenager of the happenin' 1960s, Hilfiger channeled his eye for detail and his flair for fashion into a basement shop selling bell bottoms and tie-dye shirts as fast as the local college crowd could buy them. Now one of the best-recognized names in the industry, Hilfiger didn't rise to international acclaim either steadily or surely and certainly not predictably. As he recounts the deals gone bad and the trusts betrayed, Hilfiger also relates with wide-eyed wonder the achievements and triumphs that have made his brand a go-to staple of hip clothing for three very different decades. Fashionistas and business gurus alike will glean important lessons from Hilfiger's rags-to-riches rag-trade story.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2016, American Library Association.)

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        June 15, 2016

        Popular fashion designer Hilfiger celebrates the 30th anniversary of his company's founding by narrating his life, from his working-class Elmira, NY, roots and opening his first boutique at age 18 to his wild youth in late Sixties and early Seventies New York City and his smart blend of fashion and celebrity in the 1990s.

        Copyright 2016 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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In this tale of grit and glamour, setbacks and comebacks, business and pop culture icon Tommy Hilfiger shares his extraordinary life story for the first time.
Few designers have stayed on top of changing trends the way Tommy Hilfiger has. Fewer still have left such an indelible mark on global culture. Since designing his first collection of “classics with a twist” three decades ago, Tommy Hilfiger has been synonymous with all-American style—but his destiny wasn’t always so clear. Growing up one of nine children in a working-class family in Elmira, New York, Tommy suffered from dyslexia, flunked sophomore year of high school, and found himself constantly at odds with his father. Nevertheless, this self-described dreamer had a vision and the relentless will to make it a reality. At eighteen he opened his own clothing store, parlaying his uncanny instinct for style into a budding career as a fashion designer. Through decades of triumph and turmoil,...
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