Tommy Jeans, Aries Celebrates the ’90s and DIY Subculture

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LONDON — It’s Aries season.

The London-based luxury streetwear brand Aries has collaborated with Tommy Hilfiger on a Tommy Jeans collection reimagining all of the American brand’s archival pieces in 35 pieces.

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“Everyone these days has a lot of collaboration[s]. For me, it’s always important that a collaboration feels authentic and that I’m actually bringing something to the other brand and it’s not just about logos. You can’t piggyback on someone else’s product,” Sofia Prantera, founder and creative director of Aries, told WWD.

The project started two years ago, when Lee Holman, chief design officer at Tommy Hilfiger was discussing who to work with with Prantera, who was not initially in the running, but has built a brand that’s prolific in the zeitgeisty collaboration department.

Aries has previously worked with New Balance, Juicy Couture, Retrosuperfuture and Fila on collections.

“Tommy Jeans is always talking about the clash of different design codes to create a new design aesthetic. If it’s surf with punk or prep with surplus. Sofia really embraces this clash through her own brand of Aries. I really love how she can take her own brand marks and have a fun clash of colors, or a body-con dress made from underwear waistbands,” explained Holman about why the partnership was a no-brainer for him.

Tommy Jeans and Aries collaboration.
Tommy Jeans and Aries collaboration.

The collection is loaded with Tommy Hilfiger and Aries logos plastered onto denim jackets, dresses, jeans and dungarees. It’s a clear homage to the Tommy Hilfiger muses of the ‘90s, such as Aaliyah, Destiny’s Child, Gwen Stefani and TLC, with elements of ripped T-shirts from the ‘70s and ‘90s denim.

When Prantera and Holman came to sit down for the collection, they dove straight into the archives rather than sketching a plan. They played with the sprayed beach slides and cut up T-shirts to restitch them in new proportions.

The collection uses deadstock fabric, leftover stock and vintage Tommy Hilfiger pieces which Prantera’s studio quilted together for the collection.

Prantera grew up with the rise of the Tommy Hilfiger brand in the ‘90s, along with the likes of Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren.

“It was time that someone stood up for Tommy because they’ve been doing this for a long time. It was such a subcultural brand at the time which we now see as a huge company, but it was born from DIY subcultures,” she said.

Tommy jeans aries
An homage to Tommy Hilfiger muses of the ‘90s such as Aaliyah, Destiny’s Child, Gwen Stefani and TLC.

Aries speaks to the Gen Z population. In season two of HBO’s “The White Lotus,” Portia (played by Haley Lu Richardson) wears a tie-dye sweatshirt from the streetwear brand printed with the phrase “No Problemo.”

“Maybe she [Portia] would wear the trainers. They were based on an old Tommy trainer. I saw it and I was like, ‘Oh my god, I lived through that time of skateboarding.’ I think it’s probably the most groundbreaking thing there is in the collection because it’s got that real kind of nasty Noughties trainer look,” said Prantera of the red clunky footwear in the collection.

The collection will be available to shop Friday at select Tommy Jeans stores and at the Aries store in London. Tommy Hilfiger revenues increased 3.4 percent to $1.3 billion in the latest quarter, in line with parent company PVH Corp.’s upward trajectory, noted CEO Stefan Larsson. “We’re going into 2023 with strong momentum that we continue to build on. The exciting part is seeing both Calvin [Klein] and Tommy and all three regions delivering,” he said in an interview with WWD.

“We’re going back to the DNA of Calvin and Tommy that made each of these brands collide with culture in a positive way and become iconic globally,” he added.

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