Two decades of true partnership

Exceptional 20 years collaboration between Tommy Hilfiger and Edge Company

Over twenty years ago, Tommy Hilfiger set foot in Europe. As marketing budgets were rising, the first contacts with Edge Company were made. Both client and supplier could then not have thought that this partnership would outlast so many fashion collections. ‘We always strived to do things better together,’ says Wouter van der Pol, VP Global Brand Marketing within the Amsterdam based global head office.

Having a 21 year career at Tommy Hilfiger, Wouter van der Pol still remembers the beginning of the co-operation with Edge. ‘They took on the crucial role of producing our artwork adaptations according to preset guidelines and helped us out on retouching our campaigns. As an expert gatekeeper, Edge made sure that all campaigns and advertisements matched international production and color requirements correctly. They were the essential linking pin between Tommy Hilfiger, our advertising agencies and media, safeguarding our high quality standards.’

‘We always strived to do things better together’

Flawless campaigns
‘Tommy Hilfiger has always had a pioneering spirit. We did not want to follow the market but do things differently, challenging the status quo in the fashion world. If other fashion brands had a 1 page ad in Vogue magazine, we wanted a special gate-fold. Other fashion brands worked with external advertising agencies, we wanted to have our own creative team inside our company. Thanks to Edge, we always had flawless campaigns no matter what new idea we launched, and they helped us set up our own in-house creative agency. Another uncommon aspect of our partnership is that Edge insourced a small production studio at our headquarters, to further shorten the mutual lines.’

‘During these two decades, we grew together – a process in which our physical proximity surely helped. Our internal agency had the reliability of the Edge team nearby to support them, always only one call or e-mail away. The other way around: Tommy offered Edge the chance to stay at close range of the global fashion universe.’

In the new era of disruptive digitalization, the two pioneering partners saw their co-operation change. Wouter: ‘Consumer behavior has changed enormously: they have become less loyal, no longer choosing one brand but combining Tommy Hilfiger with other brands, for example. At the same time, technology trends such as metaverse and e-gaming change our daily lives radically. As our marketing now fully focuses on digital media, specifications and time-to-market have changed, leading to faster lead times. Thanks to Edge’s skills and capacity we stayed ahead in this changing market circumstances.’

Do things better together
A 20 year co-operation is quite remarkable in this industry – and beyond. What characterizes the long partnership with Edge? ‘The Edge team has always been sharp and open to do things efficiently. Transparency is conditional: we have always been honest with each other, both on impossibilities as well as market opportunities – another key aspect of our good work relationship. In the end, it is and will remain business. There has to be something in it for both parties. And last but not least: we keep focusing on how to do thing better together. That is what makes this a true partnership.’