By Emma Kahmann

Tommy Hilfiger will launch a new fashion business school in partnership with Elmira College this fall.

With fashion one of the top industries in the world, there is a constant demand for fashion students with exceptional talent. Fashion houses have extended their efforts to inspire new generations to join through industry through various educational channels, including scholarships and seminars at universities. Tommy Hilfiger, however, has taken that a step further: the American fashion brand just announced a partnership with Elmira College to launch a new merchandising, marketing, and fashion concentration program named after the groundbreaking designer.

The Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Business School will offer its first classes in Fall 2021 for students looking to pursue careers in marketing and fashion merchandising. Hilfiger states that the brand’s partnership with Elmira College reflects much more than his personal connection as an alumnus to the school, but rather a desire to inspire new talent in the industry. The school will offer students the opportunity to participate in guest lectures with the designer and internships with the Tommy Hilfiger brand. “This program will be instrumental in shaping aspiring designers and entrepreneurs through first-hand knowledge and experience in the business,” Hilfiger states in a press release for the announcement.

“We know we need to adjust to the changing needs of a global workplace, as well as student expectations of a comprehensive educational experience,” says Dr. Charles Lindsay, president of Elmira College.

Though Tommy Hilfiger is the first fashion label to open a full-fledged college program, the brand is not the first to fund the next generation of creatives in the fashion industry. Last year, Gucci launched Gucci Changemakers, a fund created to award 20 diverse students the opportunity to further their education in the fashion industry with gifts of up to $20,000. Balenciaga also recently partnered with the Black Alumni of Pratt to offer full undergraduate scholarships for two deserving students in either the School of Design, School of Architecture, or School of Art. The scholarship will provide $600,000 in funding to two students and is underway to be awarded this fall.

Tommy Hilfiger’s business fashion school sets a new standard for the role fashion houses can play in inspiring talented students looking to bridge the gap between their passion and their education.

Image credit: Tommy Hilfiger

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