Fashion

Surf Culture: Tommy Hilfiger's Surf-Inspired Capsule Collection

America's king of prep, Tommy Hilfiger, called on five of his favourite artists to create custom boards for a new collection

Left to Right: Richard Phillips, Raymond Pettibon, Scott Campbell, Lola Montes Schnabel, Gary Simmons; Photo by Richard Phibbs

Left to Right: Richard Phillips, Raymond Pettibon, Scott Campbell, Lola Montes Schnabel, Gary Simmons; Photo by Richard Phibbs

It’s no surprise to learn that Tommy Hilfiger attended Cape Cod beach parties as a teenager—doing so is practically a prep-set rite of passage. What you might not know, however, is that the man behind the Americana-cool empire is also a major collector of modern art; his acquisitions include multiple Warhols (Mick Jagger and Marilyn Monroe among them), a Tracey Emin neon and a set of illustrated doors by artist-activist Keith Haring.

“Art has always been an inspiration in my designs,” says Hilfiger, who recently partnered with Art Production Fund, the public art non-profit run by NYC fashion scenesters Yvonne Force Villareal and Doreen Remen. His dual obsessions crest in the new Surf Shack capsule collection, which includes limited edition boards customized by both up-and-coming and established artists—Scott Campbell, Lola Montes Schnabel, Raymond Pettibon, Richard Phillips and Gary Simmons—selling for $2,000.

Lola Montes Schnabel wanted to capture "the view from underwater, or, above, from looking down; Photo by Ana Nance/Redux

Lola Montes Schnabel wanted to capture “the view from underwater, or, above, from looking down; Photo by Ana Nance/Redux

Raymond Pettibon, L.A.'s punk rock art legend: "I wanted the drawing to become part of the board as it carves on the wave"; Photo by Brian Birzer

Raymond Pettibon, L.A.’s punk rock art legend: “I wanted the drawing to become part of the board as it carves on the wave”; Photo by Brian Birzer

All five boards are on display now at the new Tommy Hilfiger west coast flagship in West Hollywood, which opened this past spring with an appropriately star-studded fête. (Attendees included Jennifer Lopez, Katy Perry, Drew Barrymore and Jessica Alba; the evening culminated with performances by Alicia Keys and Axl Rose.)

Also on display in WeHo: the entire Surf Shack collection (28 swell separates and accessories), the brand’s men’s and women’s runway lines, a well-edited selection of vintage pieces available for purchase, and a rotating display of celebrity items from Tommy Hilfiger’s own vintage archives, including a kitschy-cute pair of butterfly-emblazoned Tommy denim short-shorts custom-designed for Mariah Carey.

Vintage on the racks at Tommy Hilfiger's West Hollywood store.

Vintage on the racks at Tommy Hilfiger’s West Hollywood store.

Surf Shop: Pant, $90. Bathing Suit, $128. Clutch, $100. All tommyhilfiger.com.

Surf Shop: Bathing Suit, $128. Pant, $90. Clutch, $100. All tommyhilfiger.com.

Decor in the West Hollywood shop.

Decor in the West Hollywood shop.