Tommy Hilfiger commits to diversity with ‘People's Place Program’


American fashion brand Tommy Hilfiger has announced that it is launching
a new platform in response to the Black Lives Matter movement, which will
seek to advance the representation of Black, Indigenous and people of
colour (BIPOC) working within the fashion and creative industries.

Dubbed the ‘People’s Place Program’, the initiative takes its name from
Tommy Hilfiger’s first store which opened in 1969 in Hilfiger’s hometown of
Elmira, New York, and will have an initial minimum commitment of 5 million
US dollars in annual funding for the next three years.

“What is happening to Black communities in the US and around the world
has no place in our society,” said Tommy Hilfiger in a statement. “The fact
that it has continued to exist in our industry, overtly and systemically,
is unacceptable. We are far behind where we should be in achieving diverse
representation.”

Hilfiger, added: “It shouldn’t have taken us this long to acknowledge
that, but we are determined and committed to changing it going forward. We
will be intentional, fearless and unwavering in the actions we take.
Through the People’s Place Program, we will use our platform to create
opportunities and stand up for what is right.”

The initiative will centre around partnerships, career access and
industry leadership, utilising a three-pillared strategy to achieve
“consistent, long-term change,” added the PVH Corp-owned company.

Tommy Hilfiger responds to Black Lives Movement with a new initiative
to advance the representation fo Black people working in fashion

The first pillar is partnerships and representation where the brand will
enhance its diverse talent pipeline, focusing on “purpose-led
collaborations” that specifically increase minority visibility, as well as
introducing partnerships with organisations and creative peers whose
mission is to advance BIPOC representation and equity in the fashion
industry.

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The second pillar is dedicated to career support and industry access to
advance representation of minority communities within the fashion and
creative industries. Tommy Hilfiger states that it will use its “knowledge
and resources” to ensure career opportunities by providing access to
information or physical materials, specialist advice, and industry
introductions.

The final pillar is regarding industry leadership and to help increase
representation at every level, Tommy Hilfiger has stated that it will
commit to “independent, industry-wide analyses of diversity, equity and
inclusion in the fashion industry, and will work towards creating concrete
action plans to use internally that can also be shared with the broader
fashion industry”.

The launch of this programme follows Hilfiger’s personal call to action
for himself and his namesake business in response to the Black Lives Matter
movement at the end of May, which he states “instigated a shift towards a
culture of greater listening, learning and engaging both internally and
with the fashion industry to better understand the role the brand should
play to support BIPOC communities”.

To oversee the ‘People’s Place Program’ project, the brand said that it
is building a governance structure to “ensure its success” formed of senior
leadership members, who will be appointed to direct the initiative,
accelerate its growth internally and externally, and “maintain focus on
transparency through regular reporting on progress and impact made”.

The ‘People’s Place Program’ team is currently engaging in discussions
with industry peers and partners who can help advance the platform mission
and maximise impact throughout the fashion landscape.

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Martijn Hagman, chief executive at Tommy Hilfiger Global and PVH Europe,
added: “As a company, we haven’t done enough. But we are determined to do
better. We are taking immediate action to ensure that BIPOC communities in
the fashion industry feel represented, heard and equally welcome to their
seat at the table.

“The People’s Place journey starts now with a dedicated internal
governance structure that will drive and report regularly on the long-term
objectives of the platform. This is a firm commitment and first step in a
long journey for what the People’s Place Program can achieve.”

Tommy Hilfiger launches an internal ‘Comprehensive Action Plan’ to
become a “less biased” organisation

The luxury brand also stated that it has launched a ‘Comprehensive
Action Plan’ to ensure “immediate internal strides to become a more
informed, less biased organisation with a strong sense of belonging” in an
effort to address what it calls its “shortcomings in its internal BIPOC
representation”.

The plan will act as a starting point to address discrimination,
injustice, inequality and racism, added the brand, and will include
creating more opportunities for all associates to listen and be heard, as
well as equipping leaders and hiring managers at all levels with tools and
resources to develop a deeper understanding of systemic racism, privilege
and bias to become stronger allies and advocates for change.

In addition, the company will be rolling out mandatory continuous
unconscious bias training to all associates, building a dedicated inclusion
and diversity digital resource channel accessible to all associates, as
well as launching an educational and informational event series for
associates on racial justice.

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The final layer of the plan will be for the company to “act” with
Broadening Business Resource Groups (BRGs) to include regional chapters
dedicated to advancing, empowering and amplifying BIPOC voices in our
offices around the world, as well as attracting more diverse talent by
evolving recruitment policies and practices, casting a wider net and
thoughtfully increasing representation at all levels of the
organisation.

Image: courtesy of Tommy Hilfiger



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