Tommy Hilfiger's Classic Preppy Apparel Brand Made Him Quite Wealthy

What’s Tommy Hilfiger’s net worth? Learn more about the designer, whose brand is returning to New York Fashion Week with a “phygital” show.

Dan Clarendon - Author

Feb. 21 2023, Updated 9:58 a.m. ET

Tommy Hilfiger posing with actress Zendaya.
Source: Instagram (@thomasjhilfiger)

Tommy Hilfiger posing with actress Zendaya.

Staying relevant after having been in business for decades isn’t a feat many companies have attained. But the Tommy Hilfiger brand has managed to do it. Founded by Tommy Hilfiger and named after himself, the fashion label has grown to become a billion-dollar company.

So, how did all the progress help Tommy Hilfiger’s net worth?

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Now working as a designer for the global lifestyle brand, Hilfiger continues to make a splash in the industry, merging modern-day style with digital platforms. During 2022 New York Fashion Week (NYFW), Hilfiger brought “phygital” experiences to the stage by merging his “favorite archival inspirations with new live event concepts and virtual worlds,” Yahoo reported.

Keep reading to out more about how the Hilfiger brand has evolved and how much it's founder has made from it.

Tommy Hilfiger

Fashion designer, founder of the Tommy Hilfiger Corporation

Net worth: $450 million (reported)

Tommy Hilfiger developed an interest in fashion at a young age. His mother worked as a nurse while his father was a watchmaker. Despite growing up with eight siblings, Hilfiger's parents taught him the importance of "compassion and hard work," which helped him build a successful company.

Birthdate: March 24, 1951

Birthplace: Elmira, N.Y.

Education: Parsons School of Design

Spouses: Susie Cirona ​(m. 1980, div. 2000)​, Dee Ocleppo ​(m. 2008)

Children: Richard, Ally, Sebastian, Kathleen, Elizabeth

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How did Tommy Hilfiger get rich?

Tommy Hilfiger and his wife Dee Hilfiger.
Source: Getty Images

Tommy Hilfiger and his wife Dee Hilfiger.

Hilfiger started selling jeans with friends in high school and eventually opened a store called People’s Place. That business, however, went bankrupt when Hilfiger was in his mid-20s. “I wasn’t paying attention to the ‘business’ part of the business,” he told Forbes in 2013.

After learning from his People’s Place mistakes, Hilfiger started his self-named business in 1985, with an idea to make clothes that were “preppy with a twist.” And eventually, he found buyers.

“By 1988, our sales were $25 million,” he said. “We reached $500 million in the mid-1990s. By the end of that decade, our sales were $1 billion. Our success, I think, was a mixture of luck, hard work, and following through with our plan.” Today, Tommy Hilfiger has an estimated net worth of $450 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.

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Does Tommy Hilfiger donate to charity?

Despite having collected millions from Tommy Hilfiger sales, the fashion designer also gives back to the community. In 1995, Hilfiger founded The Tommy Hilfiger Corporate Foundation, which was later renamed to Tommy Cares and has supported various charities, including LIFEbeat, The Fresh Air Fund, and Autism Cares, notes Celebrity Net Worth.

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Who owns Tommy Hilfiger today?

If you're wondering why Hilfiger isn't a billionaire like other top fashion designers including Ralph Lauren and Giorgio Armani, it's because he sold his clothing brand. Apax Partners acquired Tommy Hilfiger Corp. in 2006 for $1.6 billion, and then PVH Corp. acquired the company from Apax Partners in 2010 for $3 billion. Through those transitions, Hilfiger has stayed on as the brand’s principal designer.

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Today, Tommy Hilfiger employs over 17,000 workers in more than 90 countries.

Tommy Hilfiger's Fall 2022 collection went live on Roblox.

On Sept. 11, 2022, Tommy Hilfiger’s NYFW show took place at the Skyline Drive-In in Brooklyn and was live-streamed on the Roblox platform, with avatars modeling the clothing in a virtual New York City. As Vogue reported, all the clothing on display was available to buy immediately, and Roblox users would be able to access digital exclusives.

“My heart immediately went to New York’s iconic creative culture when I thought about where to launch our return to fashion week,” Hilfiger explains. “This is where fashion, art, music, and entertainment was all coming together when I first started out in the industry. And today, it is still this approach that inspires me to engage with the cutting-edge communities building new creative experiences.”

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