This Is the TOMMY Shirt That Changed Ye’s Life

It’s universally understood that the 1990’s have been one of the most influential eras of hip-hop music. The style from that period trickled up from the streets – from the young generation of rappers, dancers and creatives – and eventually found its way onto mainstream retail floors; an era in which a young designer by the name of Tommy Hilfiger began to tap into the streetwear market.

Fast-forward to the present day, and one of the most prolific students of ‘90s hip-hop music, culture and fashion, Ye – formerly known as Kanye West – has taken a moment amidst a flurry of since-deleted Instagram posts (screen captured by Twitter user, RH), to celebrate the impact of an iconic Hilfiger rugby top that changed his life.

Posting to his IG feed, Ye captioned the moment, stating: “Snoop wearing this Tommy Hilfiger rugby was the most impactful marketing moment of my young life.”

Snoop Dogg responds to Kanye

— RH (@RiHar_) September 11, 2022

The shirt in question is an original 1994 TOMMY JEANS polo-style rugby top, worn by Snoop Dogg during a March 1994 music performance on Saturday Night Live (Season 19, Episode 16). The shirt was designed in Hilfiger’s recognizable navy blue, red and white-striped color-blocking layout, with a bold and enlarged “TOMMY” font logo placed at the front middle-center of the shirt.

Ironically, the post came on the heels of Hilfiger’s Sunday night return to New York Fashion Week, where several updated long-sleeved rugby’s nodded to the brand’s past while floating down its Spring/Summer 2023 runway.

Moreover, that particular shirt worn by Snoop has been archived by the brand since his 1994 SNL performance, but it made a reappearance on the red carpet of Hilfiger’s SS23 show. Attained by burgeoning fashion designer – and previous Hilfiger collaborator – Romeo Hunte, Hunte styled the rugby with a pair of tonal wide-legged khaki pants, a bandana, blacked-out shades, a 10-gallon hat and Air Jordan sneakers.

Speaking on both history-in-the-making-moments (Snoop’s and his own), Hunte exclusively tells Hypebeast:

“Tommy has always moved to push the culture forward. The shirt was a major moment and made a big splash for the brand back when Snoop wore it. Even now, for me to wear it, and for Tommy to have an NYFW show in Brooklyn – showcasing diversity, age, race and body types throughout the show – was everything we needed. And I’m here for it!”

In other New York Fashion Week news, Fendi’s multi-collab Resort 2023 collection stormed New York Fashion Week.
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