In the bag
Dee Hilfiger’s luxurious and versatile bags are making a splash this season. The stylish entrepreneur talks handbags, quality over quantity and life with Tommy
DM: Your SS15 collection is vibrant, streamlined and exotic. What inspired these designs and the materials you selected? What do you hope this collection evokes in the wearer?
DH: My home in Mustique was the inspiration for the spring-summer 2015 collection. The textures and colours of the collection were heavily influenced by the tropical paradise, and I hope each woman who wears the collection feels transported there. From turquoise waters to bright hibiscus blooms, the island offers so much inspiration through its natural beauty.
DM: What handbag from your current collection best captures your spirit and personality?
DH: The Roma bag. It’s so versatile and I wear so many hats throughout the day — mother, businesswoman, friend, wife. This bag can take me from day to night, and everything in between.
DM: Apart from travel, what other facets of your life affect your creations and keep you inspired?
DH: My customers have become my biggest inspiration. Their feedback is wonderful and gives me the best ideas.
DM: What do you love most about what you do?
DH: I love being creative and designing provides a wonderful outlet for that side of my personality. My favourite aspect of the job is that it’s different every day, and that I get to work with my husband. Tommy has helped me from A to Z on everything from manufacturing issues to delivery times and how to deal with buyers. I am lucky I am with someone who has been running a thriving business for many years!
DM: As the wife of a legendary American designer, would you say your taste in style and fashion differs from his, or do you share the same vision?
DH: Our taste definitely differs, but we both like a classic style, with an edge.
DM: How do you balance being a mom, wife and designer? what are your hours like?
DH: It’s tough to balance life and work, but I am lucky to have a lot of help and support. I am not sure I could do what I do without it!
DM: Tell me how you prefer to spend your time outside of work.
DH: I have always been passionate about advocating for causes I believe in. As a mother and a friend, I have encountered many challenges that other women can relate to. I have embraced these obstacles as opportunities for growth and giving back, and this is what inspires my work with BCRF [Breast Cancer Research Foundation] and Autism Speaks.
DM: What is your guilty pleasure?
DH: Pizza. I can never resist.
DM: What memory or way of life from your days of living in Europe do you apply to your lifestyle today?
DH: The European lifestyle is more about quality than quantity, and I try to apply this lesson to my brand and my designs.
DM: Tell me about one of the biggest challenges you’ve ever faced in life and/or work.
DH: One of the biggest challenges I’ve faced would be learning to trust my creative voice and never letting anyone talk me out of it.
DM: What have your children taught you about life?
DH: They have taught me many things, but mostly patience and unconditional love.
DM: What’s the best life advice your husband has ever given you?
DH: Always be positive.
DM: What is one family tradition the Hilfiger family enjoys together, no matter what?
DH: One of our most treasured traditions is teasing one another around the dinner table; we love to laugh.
DM: Whom do you owe your success to?
DH: My customers.
DM: There are people that can only dream about having a life like yours. What are you most grateful for?
DH: My health, my family and being able to give back.