Tommy Hilfiger, one of the most successful brands in the fashion industry, started with only $150 and the founder’s big dreams. This is how it happened.
In May of 2021, I actually bought designer Tommy Hilfiger’s home in Miami, Florida. We developed a relationship through this connection that resulted in him speaking at my 10X Growth Conference last year.
There, he shared how he started his world-famous fashion brand with only $150 and a dream. This is Tommy Hilfiger’s unbelievable come-up story.
How Tommy Hilfiger used his last $150
It seems impossible to start a business with only $150. However, that was the grand total of Tommy Hilfiger’s savings when he decided to open a jeans shop in the early ’70s.
He invested all of that savings into 20 pairs of jeans — bell-bottoms, by the way — that he bought off street vendors in New York City.
As if this story couldn’t be any more 1970s New York, Hilfiger sold these jeans out of the trunk of his Volkswagen Beetle. He was so successful selling those jeans — mostly to friends — that he was able to open several more jeans shop locations.
This time the shops were across several college campuses instead of car trunks. The success of these subsequent locations gave him the idea that he could found his own fashion brand.
Music inspired the dream
At 10X Growth Conference, I asked Tommy Hilfiger why he decided to sell jeans.
“It was early ’70s. Woodstock, Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix… All the rock groups started coming to America and playing concerts. I loved the way the rockstars looked. So, I wanted to look like them.”— Tommy Hilfiger at 10X Growth Conference
The Miami home I bought from him definitely shows how much he loved the music of the time. It features the original disco ball from Studio 54 and psychedelic decor everywhere.
I think there is a lot we can learn from his incredible come-up story. You can go as far as you’re willing to work. And going all-in on your dream — even if it’s only $150 — and being able to sell others on your idea will get you there.
Tommy Hilfiger’s story is an incredible example of what 10X actions can get you in life. This is the level of all Growth Con stories, speakers, and life-changing lessons.
For the next edition, we’re going back to Las Vegas, Nevada. Make sure you get your 10X Growth Conference 2023 ticket while some are still available.
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