He’s the creative director behind classic American brand, Tommy Hilfiger, and he just so happens to be coming through Chicago this weekend with a limited edition capsule collection which we’ll all be able to shop… at the beach!  Meet Trent Wisehart.

Tommy Hilfiger’s Surf Shack rolls up to North Avenue beach this weekend, and will be open to the public to shop the amazing surf-inspired summer collection straight from the fully customized Surf Shack bus.  When we got wind of this, we couldn’t wait to chat with Trent about the genius concept behind this capsule collection, the iconic brand itself, and of course his impeccable personal style!

So Trent, you have a pretty impressive resume!  Why is Tommy Hilfiger the right fit, and what do you bring to the classic brand?

I’ve always loved that Tommy is about classic, American, cool. The brand really sticks to its preppy roots and also incorporates color and patterns which is something I try to do in my own style.  Giving pieces a new, modern twist is inherent to the brand’s identity. For Surf Shack it was exciting to bring surf lifestyle inspirations into preppy silhouettes that make the classic look totally fresh and modern. It’s a fun challenge to reinvent the classic look every season.

How does your personal style coincide with that of the brand?

I love the classic pieces that are at the heart of the brand’s DNA; I stick to these staples in my own wardrobe but always put them together in different ways. It’s about mixing the super preppy pieces with a modern twist and layering unexpected accessories to create a cool mix.


All it takes is a quick Google search of your name to be flooded with photos of your beautiful home!  How does your personal style translate into your interior style, and vice versa?

I love the perfectly imperfect look so it’s important to incorporate pieces that are super authentic and original, but also function well in a home. In my clothing choices and interior décor, I always try to achieve a casually eclectic vibe.

What does every classic, stylish, American home need?

I’m originally from the Mid-west so for me, I need to have a yard and lots of space.

What’s your favorite color, and why?

All shades of blue. Blue can be moody or bright, and acts as the perfect complement for any outfit or room.

Describe today’s “Tommy girl.” How is she different than the “Tommy girl” most of us grew up with 10, even 20 years ago?

The Tommy Girl is always classic and carefree. In more recent years she’s been inspired by feminine modern twists on our prep heritage.

You’re a creative director, what fuels your creativity most?

Traveling is one of my passions and I’m always finding inspiration for new ideas that influence fabric, silhouettes, color, and pattern during these travels.

Any tips for pulling off surf style in the Midwest this summer? Other than shopping at the surf shack this weekend, which is a given!

Prep and surf are two classic American lifestyles, taking prep and mixing it with the laid back style of surf is distinctly Tommy Hilfiger.  This collection is inspired by that mix through color, silhouette, and pattern, and really can be worn anywhere for a classic summer look with a cool twist.

Tell us a funny story about Tommy Hilfiger, the man.

Several years ago I was working on a shoot at Tommy’s house. We were styling his son’s room and he thought there needed to be a stuffed animal for room so he asked me to go with him to pick it up. The stuffed animal turned out to be an eight foot giraffe that we had to carry across 5th Avenue!

Tommy is a great friend and incredible mentor. He always talks about his first collections being inspired by the ease and attitude of the West Coast culture so it was especially cool to work with him on this capsule collection. Over the 15 years that I’ve worked with Tommy we’ve had many laughs and great moments. He is always funny, light-hearted, and at the same time a great teacher and guide.

What does the creative director of one of the most iconic American brands do for the 4th of July?

I am planning on a classic backyard barbeque with my family and friends.

What are you looking forward to most during your visit to Chicago?

My family lived in the Chicago area for ten years, so they are coming to see me and the Surf Shack bus. I am looking forward to seeing them in a city that we love.

[photo credits: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 ]

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