My Instagram of the backstage buzz at Tommy Hilfiger’s SS16 show generated its own run of social media activism. Was the fun-loving, sun-loving seaside piña colada collection in fact cultural appropriation? Obviously, some commenters said of the woven red, green and yellow bucket hats. Where are the actual island girls? they said. I will admit that the particular frame I posted didn’t quite capture the full model line-up. First of all, front and centre, were show stars Gigi Hadid and Stella Maxwell. I’ll give you that. But, Tommy Hilfiger, like so many of New York’s designers, is a company I respect immensely for their non-artificial casting diversity – Imaan Hammam was by far the most jaw-dropping walker in the show, closely followed by Jas Tookes and Tami Williams. Further to that, Tommy has long been known for his extravagant shows, themed to the T (if you will). For all its Rastafarian novelty, tell me you haven’t once tucked a hibiscus behind your ear or increased your wardrobe incidence of floral maxi dresses during seaside locations. Fashion isn’t so serious for the Hilfiger house – it’s built for the consumer he speaks to: lighthearted and always up for a coconut.
That’s also a fairly accurate description of beautiful Fatima Siad, whom I met way back in April while she was working out in Sydney (we have been happy Instagram friends ever since – what a time to be alive). We managed to get a hold of a few looks straight off runway the morning after the show. What a mover! She had absolutely no problem with dancing her way up, down and across Canal Street at 7AM on a week day, switching between island goddess and one of the boys in new Tommy show looks that were so anti-city that it actually gave onlookers (and there were a lot of curious peak hour onlookers) holiday FOMO.