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Your place in the business of fashion starts here

Named after the American fashion icon, the Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Business School combines business education with real-world fashion industry experience. Hilfiger, founder of the Tommy Hilfiger Corporation and a legend in the global fashion industry, has deep roots in the Elmira area. His entrepreneurial career began with his local store, People's Place, and eventually blossomed into ownership of one of the world's most recognizable clothing brand names. The Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Business School gives Elmira College students a chance to follow in Hilfiger's footsteps while exploring fashion business fundamentals and the latest market trends.

A strategically designed curriculum and hands-on, out-of-the-classroom experiences, create a place where students learn about, not only the daily operations of the fashion industry, but also the history, the people, and the deep connections it has to other industries.

Tommy Hilfiger
Photo credit to © Craig McDean / Art + Commerce

From day one, I wanted to make my mark on the industry and leave behind a meaningful legacy.

- Tommy Hilfiger

Make your own mark

Elmira College's Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Business School has a unique real-world focus that will prepare you for business and leadership roles in the fashion industry. There is a strong emphasis on experiential learning including fashion industry internships, team projects, field trips, guest speakers and consulting projects. You will work with experienced academic and industry professionals, with cutting-edge educational methods in small class sizes.

Students around table with documents on table

Fashion Merchandising

If you're into business and love fashion, then you might consider a fashion merchandising minor or concentration. Fashion Merchandising is about learning to analyze market trends and getting to know consumer behaviors to make wise purchasing decisions. You'll get to know how to get the right items to the right people at the right price.

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Students having a round table discussion in class

Fashion Marketing

If you love fashion, are into marketing campaigns, thinking about demographics, and positioning a product, then consider a fashion marketing minor or concentration. Fashion marketing is learning to promote fashion products to the right people at the right time. You'll learn how to use market research to target promotions, from online campaigns to big events.

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Hamilton Hall, Elmira College

Elmira College offers students hands-on, experiential learning in small classes, giving you real-world fashion experience with some of the industry's leading fashion professionals.

Partnership with the Fashion Institute of Technology

Elmira College and the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), a college of the State University of New York, have partnered to offer EC students in the Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Business School program an opportunity to apply to FIT's Global Fashion Management (GFM) Master's in Professional Studies (MPS) program. Students who complete Elmira's Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Business program and meet FIT's admissions requirements will be encouraged to apply to FIT's MPS program. This includes the successful completion and award of a bachelor of arts (BA) degree in Business Administration with a minor or concentration in Fashion Merchandising or Fashion Marketing. Students must have a final minimum grade point average of 3.0 and have at least three years of relevant professional work experience post-degree, not including internships.

Frequently Asked Questions

What careers will the Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Business School prepare me for?

The fashion industry is one of the largest consumer-facing industries in the world, with an estimated annual sales volume of US $1.5 trillion worldwide. Future job prospects in the field are promising, with growth predicted in consumer marketing positions in general, as well as expected growth in emerging markets worldwide. Graduates can expect to find jobs as a retail buyer, visual merchandiser, merchandise planner, fashion marketing manager, brand manager and market research analyst.

Are there internship opportunities?

Students participating in the Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Business School curriculum will complete an internship before graduation.

What degree will I graduate with?

Students in the Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Business School graduate with a business administration degree with either a minor or concentration in fashion marketing or fashion merchandising.

Elmira and the Hilfiger Family

The Hilfiger Family  Parents: Virginia, Richard Children (oldest to youngest): Kathleen, Tommy, Susie, Betsy, Billy, Robert, Marie, Andrew, Virginia
Photo credit to Tommy Hilfiger Archive
Tommy Hilfiger in 1969 at 18 years old in front of his first store People's Place
Photo credit to Tommy Hilfiger Archive

The Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Business School was developed in partnership with the Hilfiger family, who grew up in Elmira. Tommy Hilfiger made his first mark in fashion on the Elmira College campus selling bellbottom jeans to the students and later employing many of them at his first shop, which was located in Elmira.

Together, the College and the Hilfiger family have created a program that brings a shared vision: Elmira is Our Place. A place that fosters an exchange of ideas and self-expression. A place that shapes critical thinking skills while providing a broad view of the world. A place where a new generation of fashion professionals can follow their dreams.