Figure 8.3. Dreaming of 'designer' trainers, a young boy shopping in Brighton, UK, July 1999.
joint venture and buying agency agreements firmly established in Japan.26 That same year licensing income increased by 136 per cent.27 Hilfiger is a Hong Kong based corporation, with manufacturing undertaken in China, including the £85 jerseys available from the flagstore outlet in Knightsbridge in 1998. Reuters reported on 2 February 1998 that Hilfiger had bought out Pepe Jeans for $1.1billion.
Through expert marketing, Hilfiger has been able to market his mass-produced casual clothes as 'designer' products and even as high fashion. By reworking the elite marketing ploys of the couture industry, used by houses such as Givenchy, Dior, Chanel and Lacroix, by Christmas of 1998, Hilfiger was selling his perfume 'Tommy Girl' at British department stores, typified by Debenham's in Cheltenham, at £35 for 100 milligrams, whilst St Laurent's 'Kouros' was sold for less at £25 for the same amount. Dior's 'Eau Sauvage' was priced at only £3 dearer.28 Hilfiger's fragrances are made under licence by the Aramis division of Estee Lauder. Since the grand salons are now utterly
26. Tommy Hilfiger Corporation 1997 Annual Report, New York, p. 17 and 28.
27. DNR, 31 October 1997.
28. With thanks to Patrica Whitehead for this information.
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