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Promise Keeper

Fashion icon Tommy Hilfiger teams up with millennium promise to help eradicate poverty.

Author Layla Schlack Photography Richard Phibbs/trunkarchive.com


Image – Richard Phibbs/trunkarchive.com

WHO • TOMMY HILFIGER, 59

MISSION • To aid Millennium Promise in reducing extreme poverty. Hilfiger has committed $2 million over five years to the Ugandan community of Ruhiira. “We’d like to make a difference and really teach the people of the village to help themselves,” he says. “We’re helping them get jobs, support their community. We’re not giving them fish—we’re teaching them how to fish.” He’s also opening the door for his staff to get involved: All 10,000 Tommy Hilfiger employees around the world are encouraged to take free volunteer vacations to Ruhiira.

MOTIVATION • After achieving tremendous success as a designer, Hilfiger felt compelled to give back. “We did a lot of research and found that Millennium Promise was one of the strongest organizations associated with the UN. Of the money that’s given, most of it gets distributed on the ground.”

HAPPY BIRTHDAY • The Tommy Hilfiger brand celebrated its 25th anniversary this year, and Assouline recently published a limited-edition 144-page book titled Tommy Hilfiger, which chronicles the label’s development. “The book is really a scrapbook,” he says. “It’s got lots of photos and little quotes from people I’ve worked with over the years.”

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