by MR Magazine Staff

Tommy Hilfiger, a subsidiary of PVH Corp, has announced the six finalists of thTommy Hilfiger Fashion Frontier Challenge who were selected from over 430 applications received from startups and scaleups globally. 

Building on Tommy Hilfiger’s sustainability vision to Waste Nothing and Welcome All, the third edition of the program strives to continue amplifying and supporting black, indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) entrepreneurs who are working to advance their communities, while fostering a more inclusive future of fashion. With the need to drive impact in the industry more important than ever, the third year of the Challenge was completely virtual due to the pandemic.

Over a multi-step yearlong process, applications were thoroughly reviewed by internal and external experts based on a dedicated set of criteria including potential social impact and market growth. The six finalists will pitch their business ideas to a jury panel consisting of business and sustainability leaders at the virtual global final event on January 12-13, 2022. 

“The Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Frontier Challenge embodies our longstanding mission to harness the power of fashion to foster inclusivity, representation and change,” said Tommy Hilfiger. “Our industry will only move forward with new, fresh ideas that challenge how we think, build and create. As a brand, it’s vital we use our platform to give entrepreneurs like our finalists a voice and opportunity to create real and long-lasting impact.” 

The six finalists are:  

  • Clothes to Good: A South African-based social enterprise that creates micro-business opportunities and jobs for people with disabilities and their families, especially mothers, through textile recycling. 
  • Haelixa: A Switzerland-based product traceability technology that aims to accelerate the global transition to transparent consumer goods supply chains. 
  • MAFI MAFI: An Ethiopia-based sustainable fashion brand that crafts ready-to-wear collections, preserving ancient traditions and empowering marginalized artisans.  
  • Lalaland: A Netherlands-based platform that uses artificial intelligence to generate customized and inclusive synthetic models of different ethnicities, ages and sizes, all with over 35 pose variations. 
  • SOKO: This Kenya-based jewelry business uses mobile technology to connect marginalized Kenyan artisans directly to the global marketplace via a mobile platform. 
  • UZURI K&Y: ThisRwandan-based eco-friendly shoe brand uses recycled car tires from sub-Saharan Africa and employs local youth, equipping them with skills and economic independence.  

The jurors overseeing the final event are Tommy Hilfiger; Martijn Hagman, CEO, Tommy Hilfiger Global and PVH Europe; Yara Shahidi, award-winning actress, producer, and change agent; Esther Verburg, EVP, Sustainable Business and Innovation, Tommy Hilfiger Global and PVH Europe;  Adrian Johnson, Entrepreneur, Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship, Technology and Media at INSEAD; Katrin Ley, Managing Director of Fashion for Good and Founding Curator of the Amsterdam Global Shapers Hub; and Yvonne Bajela, founding member and principal at investment firm Impact X Capital. 

The six finalists have developed and refined their business plans, which they will present at the final event. Arooj Aftab, content creator, illustrator, writer and founder of #DonewithDiversity, will host the final event where the jury will award €200,000 to be split between two chosen winners in order to support their ventures. The winners will also receive a year-long mentorship with both Tommy Hilfiger and INSEAD experts, as well as a place in the INSEAD Social Entrepreneurship Program (ISEP). An additional €15,000 will be awarded to the finalist who Tommy Hilfiger associates select as their “Audience Favorite” vote.