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My First Piece of Art: Tommy Hilfiger

The designer, whose eponymous fashion brand celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, reminisces about his Studio 54 days and the lithographs that stole his heart

I met Andy Warhol in New York City in the late 1970s at Studio 54, and he took me to his studio, The Factory, to show me his art. I couldn’t afford any of it back then, even though it was very inexpensive. But I loved the fact that he brought fashion, art, pop culture and entertainment together. I always thought when I started making money, I’d collect art and buy Warhols.

Around the time I launched my company in 1985, I met Prince Rupert Loewenstein and we became friends. He was the financial adviser for the Rolling Stones, and he was collecting art at the time. He had these lithographs of Mick Jagger done by Andy Warhol and signed by both men. I wanted to invest, and so I bought a series of 10 screen prints from him.  Mick and I had become friends in the early 1980s, as we were neighbors on the Caribbean island of Mustique.  

The series has moved around over the years: I had the prints in my first apartment in SoHo, then Greenwich, Connecticut, and I had a couple in my New York City studio. When I bought a home in Miami two years ago with my wife, Dee, we decided to showcase many of our major artworks down there. The lithographs currently hang in the Miami home along with works from Keith Haring, Damien Hirst and Jean-Michel Basquiat

Now you could say I’m obsessed with collecting pop and contemporary art. It’s one of my favorite hobbies. Art makes life very exciting, especially when you’re dealing with art done by creative people like Andy and Keith—fun, irreverent artists who’ve had a real effect on society.