This season, 23-year-old Ally Hilfiger is working with her father Tommy to help produce his Fall ’09 show on Thursday, Feb. 19. In years past, Ms. Hilfiger has come in briefly to give her input on collections, but this year she is a full-time employee responsible for some rather less glamorous tasks.
"Well, like, today a lot of the samples came in and tomorrow everyone will be going in to unpack them. I will be unpacking boxes and steaming and organizing," said Ms. Hilfiger when the Daily Transom called to see what she was up to at her father’s headquarters. "I’m really excited. The grunt work can be kind of fun. There are parts of the business that are glamorous and there are parts that aren’t."
Working for her father this season is just one of the things Ms. Hilfiger is doing to make a career for herself in the fashion industry. She’s been working as a freelance stylist and building her portfolio. She hopes to get hired by an agency soon.
"As a freelancer, you get different gigs, and this just happens to be one of them," she said.
And of a course a clothing line of her own is also a possibility. But she doesn’t want to rush into it and become another socialite whose redundant line gets canceled after the first collection.
"I know the work that goes into doing a clothing line and it’s a lot. So what I want to do is familiarize myself with all aspects of the business before I embark on anything," she said. "And I don’t believe in taking my family name for granted. I’d rather build myself as a worker first. When you start your own line, it’s usually better to have your own money and I’m making my own money now. So I want to do that, build myself up, and then maybe I can branch off and do my own thing."
Ms. Hilfiger said that she especially admires the business that Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen have been able to build with their clothing lines.
"I love The Row and Elizabeth & James. I think the Olsen twins have built an amazing brand with those two and I really respect and appreciate what they’ve been doing," she said. "My aesthetic is not as classic as my dad’s. The clothes that I want to work on are clothes I would wear myself—hippiesh things. And I love the ’70s and ’60s and vintage."
Meanwhile, we wondered if the other employees at her father’s company ever grew disgruntled over having to work with the boss’s kid.
"No, no one has said anything. If someone needs to make a remark like that then they can make it, but I don’t have to know about it," said Ms. Hilfiger. "That’s not what it’s about. I believe in working my way from the bottom, so I refuse to get any special treatment."