The Tommy Hilfiger Fall 2018 Menswear collection is a celebration of American icons, while also giving a nod to the brand’s signature styles and putting a modern twist on timeless classics to meet the needs of the now. One of the timeless classics to re-emerge in this fall’s collection is the iconic puffer jacket.
Except for blue jeans, few wardrobe classics have found as much acceptance as the puffer jacket across the class-divide, the urban-rural divide and across the cultural divide. It can be seen simultaneously in bargain stores, in stores catering to outdoor-adventure, as well as on the catwalks of high-fashion.
This apparent universality of the puffer jacket can be traced back to its disparate origin.
The utilitarian origin of the puffer jacket begins with the legendary sportsman Eddie Bauer, who nearly succumbed to frostbite due to his woollen jacket freezing to solid ice after becoming saturated with water. After this potentially fatal experience, Bauer was determined to create a durable yet lightweight jacket for the outdoors. The key to his breakthrough was the innovation of quilting the fabric so that the down filling did not fall to the bottom. Bauer’s design was patented in 1939 and branded the skyliner. Simultaneously, Charles James, dubbed the father of American couture, introduced the puffy jacket for ladies high-fashion; made of white satin, its volume evoking a woman’s curves.
James’ jacket became a cult classic among fashionados, while Bauer’s jacket remained within the realm of adventurers and mountaineers. The two disparate worlds were brought together for the first time by Norma Kamali in 1976 when she launched the ‘the sleeping bag coat,’ a harbinger to the future outdoor and fashion crossovers. The actual merging of the two streams of the puffer jacket came about in the youth cultures of the 80s and 90s.
In the 1980s, the fashionable youth of Milan began wearing, and made street-fashionable, the Moncler skiing jacket. The brand until then was associated with skiing and affluence. The urbanisation of the puffer jacket spread at a steady pace until the explosion of hip-hop music in the 1990s. The puffer jacket was a staple of the hip-hop fashion of the northern US cities such as New York and Chicago. Tommy Hilfiger became the must-have brand of the 90s hip-hop scene along with the Tommy Hilfiger puffer jacket.
For the fall of 2018, Tommy Hilfiger has returned to this timeless classic along with others such as the Rugby shirt in oversized silhouettes, with a colour palette of warm earthy tones, glen check prints and stripes. The collection also revisits the brand’s archive, featuring seasonal statements such as the heritage Tommy Crest, a lion with sword encircled by laurels, which was launched in 1985 together with the brand’s iconic flag logo.
The Tommy Hilfiger collection of Fall 2018 makes iconic American classics become multi-functional so that they can effortlessly transition from one occasion to the next; none more so than the puffer jacket.