Los Angeles has been particularly rainy lately. This does wonders for our drought but it’s not quite the sunny, happy-go-lucky vibe for which we’re famous. Turns out, disappointed beachgoers didn’t have to wait for a kind nod from Mother Nature, they just had to wait for Gigi Hadid and Tommy Hilfiger. Because, trust us, when Gigi is on the runway, God clears the skies. And clear the skies He did. The break in the weather ushered in the carnival called Tommyland with its fire eaters, stilt walkers, hammerhead rides, storefronts and, of course, the Tommy x Gigi runway show followed up with a performance by Fergie.

Unity, friendship, fun and, most importantly, youth: the motto on the runway
© Tommy Hilfiger
Unity, friendship, fun and, most importantly, youth: the motto on the runway

The Tommyland party celebrated the second capsule collaboration between Hadid and Hilfiger and the festive mood was one of unity, friendship, fun and, most importantly, youth. Hilfiger’s red, white and blue shown brightly, boasting “Young America” slogans on bomber jackets and swimsuits. Models broke into near dance-like strides, some singing along with the music, and the crowd, most of whom were on their feet, applauded and cheered, something one would never have witnessed at a staid, mock sophisticated New York catwalk event.

Fashion is happening here in LA now, drawing St. Laurent, Moschino and Tom Ford. No better place than Venice Beach for Hilfiger to further a cause close to his heart: the democratization of fashion. The public doesn’t pose and suck in their cheeks, acting uninterested in a new collection. Instead they act as fans. They cheer, they holler, they whoop and the models follow suit.

Tommy x Gigi shop on site
© SI team
Tommy x Gigi shop on site

After the show, Fergie took the stage for a full set concert, followed by carnival rides, food trucks and, truly bringing fashion straight to the people, the Tommynow initiative with shops selling many of the articles just seen on the runway. There were bigger lines for the shops than the rides but the entire evening, played out for three brief but surreal hours under the Venice Beach hazy sun, was an electrifying youth carnival to be experienced. It’s wonderful to see Gigi bring back Hilfiger’s glow of youth. He wears it well.


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