Tommy Hilfiger Spring 2011 Ad Campaign

Tommy Hilfiger Spring 2011 Ads

Photo courtesy of Tommy Hilfiger

Tennis anyone? Tommy Hilfiger's Spring 2011 ad campaign.

Tommy Hilfiger is all about being all-American. Serving as a Norman Rockwell figure for the preppy fashion world, his spirit is synonymous with clean-cut, athletic youths of privilege—the type who take up tennis lessons between yachting and deportment classes while summering on Martha's Vineyard.

Hilfiger's ad campaigns, with their pristine teens in sun-drenched settings, uphold this winsome, patriotic vision. If a particular iconic family embodied the label's heroic virtues—externally, at least—it would be the Kennedys.

So why do the Hilfigers, the fictional, generously sized family who made their début in the designer's Holiday 2010 campaign and reappear in his offbeat Spring 2011 ads, look more like the Royal Tenenbaums?

Perhaps Hilfiger finally realized it's normal to be weird and even weirder to be normal—or at the very least, it's boring.

Of course, it takes more than models in nutty 'fros and sweatbands to convincingly capture the idiosyncrasies of America's dysfunctional family of choice. Still, the decidedly eccentric “El Country de-la Club-ius” campaign is a departure for the usually neat and narrow Hilfiger brand.

Photographed by Craig McDean, styled by Karl Templer, and art directed by Trey Laird, the ad concept revolves around model misbehavior at a “twisted country club that anyone can join—as long as they’re good sports.”

Affluence is alive and well for the Hilfigers, but it's gone a bit haywire in this parallel universe, where sudden-death croquet is the sport of choice, men mismatch their golf attire, and ladies might wear little more than bras to play triples tennis.

If anything, the campaign feels more in line with the goofy antics of Caddyshack, but maybe that's because it's missing the aforementioned Margot Tenenbaum moment (Jac Jablonski would have nailed it).

Tommy Hilfiger Spring 2011 Ads

Photo courtesy of Tommy Hilfiger

The "Hilfigers" lounging around the country club pool, naturally.

When a shaggy-haired Luke Wilson donned aviators and a few too many sweatbands as depressed tennis prodigy Richie Tenenbaum in 2001, he became a tragicomic symbol of frustrated, misspent talent for restless creatives everywhere—but tellingly, his aesthetic also provided excellent fashion fodder for the Buffalo Exchange set.

We're pretty sure that idealized kookiness, rather than actual mental illness, is what Hilfiger is celebrating here—though watch next season prove us wrong. "Tommy Hilfiger: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," anyone?



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