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The Exclusive Interview: Tommy Hilfiger

Internationally revered designer, Tommy Hilfiger, tells us about working hard, dressing cool and his own rock star ambitions

Tommy Hilfiger, autumn winter 2011 childrenswear collection
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What is your job?
Fashion Designer
Where did you grow up?
Elmira, New York
What did you want to be when you grew up?
A rock star
What were your favourite pastimes as a child?
I was very lucky to grow up with eight brothers and sisters and my favourite moments were our family picnics or all of us gathering round the black and white television on a Sunday night to watch Ozzie and Harriet.
I also started working at the age of nine, mowing my neighbour's lawns and I had a paper route too. Very early on I considered working hard as an essential part of a happy life because of my parents example.
What is your family time like?
My job involves a lot of travelling and I make sure I have my family by my side whenever possible.
Spending time with my family is an absolute priority; I love playing with my two year old son Sebastian.
At what age and how did you start to notice fashion?
In the summer of 1969 I went to Cape Cod with a bunch of friends and worked in a store called the Sunflower boutique. I started wearing bell-bottom jeans and grew my hair long. When I got back to Elmira my parents were horrified but I loved my new look and was hooked on cool clothes.
What was your favourite thing to wear as a child?
The Hess jumpsuit I wore when I worked at a gas station during summer holidays - I still think about how cool it was.
Who would you most like to design an amazing creation for? (preferably a child!)
My son Sebastian. At the age of two he's already developed quite a clear sense of what he likes to wear.
What is your hot fashion tip for winter 2011?
The preppy look isn't just for summer. This winter, play with contrasting shapes and materials - city shapes in country fabrics like tweed and chunky knits. Above all, dress for lots of outdoor fun, wrap up warm and brighten those wintery days with lots of colour.
Can you tell us a joke…
Two cats, called Felix and Un-deux-trois, decided to have a race to see who could swim across the river first. Guess who won? Felix! Why? Because Un-deux-trois cat sank. (Un deux trois quatre, cinq!)

Tommy Hilfiger childrenswear was highly commended in the Best International Fashion category and shortlisted in the Designer of the Year category, as part of the Junior Design Awards 2011.

Don't miss... The Junior Meets hub of exclusive interviews, inside scoop interviews and quirky Q&As, with exciting interviewees including: Tommy HilfigerSir Paul SmithStella McCartney and lots of other influential fashion designers, authors and illustrators including Quentin Blake and Jeff Kinney, great business minds including Lord Alan Sugar and, everyone's favourite fashionable frog, Kermit.

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