It’s good to hear that Tommy Hilfiger’s memoir is dropping at the end of this year. American Dreamer: My Life in Fashion and Business is going to be published by Ballantine on October 16th and promises to be a definitive, despite weighing in at a slim-sounding 240 pages. I’m hoping that it’s not the usual dumbed-down, reiterate-a-point business book, because I want at least 10 pages on his time spent designing Coca-Cola clothing and at least a chapter on the moment when he spotted Puba and his boys clad in XXL Hilfiger gear at JFK airport and got his brother Andy to make the introduction. Tommy’s decision to go beyond flirting with a rap audience and actually get artists on the catwalk and cranking up the prints with them in mind would ultimately fall apart when trends changed and someone made up a lie about him being a racist (the same fate that befell Troop), whereas brands that seemed to never acknowledge hip-hop beyond making gear that seemed aimed at MCs like Puba rather than rich white males (because rich white blokes in 1992 were the demographic for an insanely colour blocked rugby with ALPINE or CLIMB on it, weren’t they?) managed to walk away minus allegations.
On the subject of white dudes getting involved in hip-hop, this Malcolm McLaren interview — an unedited hour-long chat from Don’t Tell It video magazine in 1996 — is pretty good. Salutes to Ariel Vanstraten for upping his raw footage. Malcolm wears some superb sunglasses and gets very enthusiastic talking about the then revolutionary idea of people downloading their music rather than buying it.