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Tommy Hilfiger celebrates 25 years of style, five decades (plus) of life with coffee table tome

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Tommy Hilfiger is celebrating its 25th anniversary in fashion (yeah, I’m feeling kinda old too) by producing 1,000 handmade, limited-edition books. Presented in a linen box (perfect to accessorize any Nantucket coffee table), the book’s cover bears the label’s iconic flag in bold red and blue bordered with genuine gold stitching.

‘Tommy Hilfiger,’ by Tommy Hilfiger has a scrapbook vibe. Handwritten narrated images and quotes from gals like Anna Wintour and Britney Spears add a funky freshness to the pages. “This book is a culmination of my life’s work, sharing some of my innermost thoughts throughout the years…. [It’s] the equivalent of telling a friend about my family,” says the designer.

You’ll learn many things about the man from Elmira, N.Y., that’ll surprise you. A psychic named Zvia who charted his future. A Madison Square Garden show with British rockers Bush headlining (Gavin Rossdale in Hilfiger! What would Gwen say?) Forget that Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones were kitted out in his gear in 1999 when he sponsored their “No Security Tour.” I guess it’s not always yachts and chiseled faces that wave his eponymous flag.

Previewing the book, I was fascinated by intimate, personal photos. On the flip side, I felt it was missing content with gutsy grit. When thinking of Hilfiger, it’s hard to forget the 59-year-old designer has had some serious fashion highs (in 1995 winning CFDA Menswear Designer of the year) and major lows (overexposure, so much so that you could buy a Hilfiger T-shirt or jeans from Costco). For those looking to gain insight into the workings of the label, this doesn’t delve much deeper than a man looking back at his five decades with delight. At $550, this 144-page tome (featuring 200 illustrations, 65 which are hand- tipped) is probably for his most devout fans. Though I will say, after reading Hilfiger’s goal to see his brand as the quintessential American dream, and then flicking through his retrospective of campaigns, he nails it. “America the Beautiful,” is an understatement.

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Tommy Hilfiger by Tommy Hilfiger is available at Assouline bookstores or alternatively via the Web, www.assouline.com

-- Julie Neigher


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