TOMMY HILFIGER TO LAUNCH LIMITED EDITION FOOTWEAR COLLECTION IN COLLABORATION WITH G.H. BASS & CO.: ‘ORIGINALS WITH A TWIST’.
AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS (May, 2011) – The Tommy Hilfiger Group, which is wholly owned by Phillips-Van Heusen Corporation [NYSE: PVH], is pleased to announce the launch of a limited edition footwear collection in collaboration with PVH’s classic American brand G.H. Bass & Co. The collection will be centered around America’s most iconic preppy shoe, the “Weejuns” penny loafer, which has been a timeless classic since 1936. The “Weejuns” penny loafer by Tommy Hilfiger for G.H. Bass & Co. will bring together two of America’s quintessential brands for the first time.
“It’s a great privilege to partner with G.H. Bass & Co. on this special footwear collection,” said Tommy Hilfiger. “Bass is a true American institution. For more than 125 years they have been renowned for their outstanding craftsmanship and the quality of their products. Nothing says preppy, classic American like Bass “Weejuns” penny loafers and I am thrilled to be able to give this iconic item of preppy wardrobes an updated Tommy Hilfiger twist.”
The footwear collection offers a full range in both men’s and women’s styles with a surprising but subtle Tommy Hilfiger twist. Men have the choice of “Weejuns” loafers in pony skin, full suede, and polished leather in pop colors or traditional wool plaid. Womens’ styles include a high heeled “Weejuns” loafer and the classic mens’ flat loafer reinterpreted for women in pony skin and polished leather, featuring details such as intricate needlepoint on the toe and contrast stitching. Colors are classic prep, including burgundy, bottle green and navy with grey wool plaid featuring highlights of royal blue that add an unexpected touch.
Window displays in exclusive concept stores throughout Europe and the United States will debut in June 2011, marking the launch of the collection. Pre-launch displays inspired by vintage shoemaker shops will showcase “Weejuns” against a back wall mosaic composed of pennies in Tommy Hilfiger signature red, white and blue. The collection will also be available in select Tommy Hilfiger stores beginning October 2011. “See a penny pick it up, all day long you’ll have good luck”: customers purchasing “Weejuns” will be able to choose from pennies in three different colors to place in their shoes, instantly personalizing the loafers, which are then presented to them in one of two custom designed Tommy Hilfiger/Bass shoe bags.
George Henry Bass founded G.H. Bass & Co. when he became the owner of small shoe manufacturer E.P. Packard & Co in 1879. Originally a tanner, Bass took his expertise from working with leather and applied his knowledge to the shoe making business. G.H. Bass & Co. quickly became known for quality leather, outstanding craftsmanship and, perhaps most importantly, listening to their customers. Bass shoes have been the footwear of choice for generations of loggers due to their versatility, durability and warmth. G.H. Bass & Co introduced what would be their most famous moccasin in 1936: the “Weejuns” penny loafer was an instant hit with the sophisticated leisure set. Now, 75 years later, they are every bit as popular and stylish as they were then due to their timeless craftsmanship.
BASS. A TIMELESS AMERICAN HISTORY
G.H. Bass & Co. has developed, grown and expanded over the years, but its basic principles remain the same. We believe that quality leather and thorough workmanship are the foundation of good shoemaking and we strive to build the best possible shoe for the purpose for which it will be used. Through the years with G.H. Bass & Co. An American Legacy.
1870s. George Henry Bass, the owner of a tannery in Wilton, Maine, embarks upon a career in shoemaking when he purchases shares in E.P. Packard & Co., a local shoe manufacturer. George becomes the sole owner and changes the name of the company to G.H. Bass & Co. George takes orders, delivers shoes to his customers and seeks feedback from the wearers so he can make the best possible shoe.
1900s – 1920s. The first Bass moccasin is created in 1906. The Bass Aviation Boot is worn by soldiers in the U.S. Army during World War I. Charles A. Lindbergh later wears the same style boot on his historic solo flight from New York to Paris.
1930s – 1940s. Admiral Byrd wears Bass footwear on an expedition to the Antarctic. Bass Weejuns are born in 1936. The shoe is based on leisure shoes worn by Norwegians. During World War II, Bass develops a cold- weather boot for the 10th Mountain Division of the U.S. Army.
1950s – 1960s. The penny loafer evolves into a symbol of “cool”. None other than James Dean, American movie star, cultural icon and the epitome of cool, is photographed wearing his Weejuns!
In the late 1960s, Bass introduces Sunjuns, the soon-to-be-essential women’s summer sandal. In 1968, Bass acquires Burgess Shoe Stores, renaming them Bass Factory Outlets and establishing the company in the retail outlet sector.
1970s – 1980s. PVH acquires G.H. Bass & Co., today one of America’s top-selling shoe brands.
1990s – Today. The Bass brand continues to capture the essence of American casual and weekend footwear.