Tommy Hilfiger and Harlem’s Fashion Row came together Wednesday night at the Metrograph in Lower Manhattan to celebrate the second year of the brand’s New Legacy Challenge, a design competition which is part of Hilfiger’s People’s Place program created to offer support and access to underrepresented communities in fashion.
Hilfiger and actress Yara Shahidi, who served as a judge for the challenge, revealed designer Megan Smith as this year’s winner, awarding her a $25,000 grant and the opportunity to create a capsule collection with Hilfiger’s design team. Smith was chosen out of three finalists, who also included Jameel Mohammed and Tavon Davis.
“I was impressed by Megan’s exceptional vision and creativity,” Hilfiger said. “She stood out through her unique perspective applied to contemporary prep. Megan understands how to create distinctive designs that appeal to the female consumer of today. It’s great to see how this challenge has helped her expand her creative genius towards menswear as well. Her designs have left their mark on the New Legacy Challenge, and I’m thrilled to see what Megan will bring to the future of fashion.”
For the competition, the three finalists were tasked with creating a capsule collection that showed their interpretation of prep-wear, leveraging Tommy Hilfiger’s motifs, logo and color palette. The finalists’ pieces were shown in a short documentary film before the winner was revealed by Shahidi. Shahidi also modeled each collection for the competition’s photo shoot.
“I’ve participated in many projects or attempts at what diversity in fashion looks like and I think the photo shoot for me was a very exciting moment because it was very full circle and everyone behind the camera was diverse and representative,” Shahidi said. “It wasn’t just about this competition and what we were presenting forward-facing, but truly the extent to which [the Hilfiger brand] considered diversity and who they were giving opportunities to, considering what talent has so much to offer that wouldn’t naturally be in this fashion space.”
Smith participated in the first New Legacy Challenge, and reapplied for this year’s edition because she felt she had more to say as a designer.
“I put a lot of pressure on myself in the beginning because I definitely wanted to show how I’ve evolved as a designer,” she said. “From being in the competition, I just wanted to make Tommy proud and make everyone else proud, so the second time around was a lot of weight, but I just had so much fun creating those pieces.”