“I would love to make everything in America if I could find the factories.”
“Made in the USA” is the dream when it comes to most American fashion companies. It’s an important marketing tool — a tool that worked very well for American Apparel until *cough* it didn’t. To state the obvious, most things made in America are going to be more expensive, which unfortunately doesn’t usually bode well for the average mainstream brand.
Tommy Hilfiger has made some unexpected moves lately — debuting a clothing line for adults with disabilities, for instance — but switching to making Hilfiger clothing in the U.S. doesn’t look like a move he’ll be making anytime soon. In response to President Trump’s push to make clothing in the U.S., Hilfiger had this to say in an interview with Bloomberg Television.
“‘Made in America’ is very important. I would love to make everything in America if I could find the factories. They don’t exist here in America.” Hilfiger said. “It’s my duty to bring the consumer the best product at the very best price.”
That’s the unfortunate issue with “Made in America” — as homegrown and patriotic as the phrase sounds, it’s something shoppers have to be able to shell out money for. Even ultra-American brands like Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren, or blue-collar brands like Carhartt, make most of their wares overseas.
In July, Trump had a “Made in America” week that ended up highlighting his own hypocrisy — his collection of clothing, his vodka, and his boardgame are not manufactured in the U.S. Hilfiger has had a few brushes with the politics of Donald Trump. His models wore white bandanas around their wrists to protest Trump’s immigration ban, and, somewhat conversely, he also spoke out against designers who were opposed to designing outfits for Melania, saying that they could do so without being political.
According to a 2016 poll, three out of four Americans say they would like to buy goods manufactured inside the United States, but those items are often too costly or difficult to find. If you want to learn more about where, in fact, clothes are made in America, Fashionista recently broke down American production by region here.
(h/t to the Chicago Tribune)