Since its inception more than 30 years ago, the Tommy Hilfiger imprint has become synonymous with classic all-American style—thanks in large part to its symbiotic relationship with hip-hop culture. But despite the brand’s storied history, a surprising number of people were unaware that Tommy Hilfiger is the name of a person … who is still alive … and continues to run his namesake company. No, really.
This became apparent on Tuesday night, after Legendary host Law Roach posted an Instagram video of him prank calling his celebrity friends. The viral stunt included appearances by Tom Holland, Kerry Washington, Tiffany Haddish, and Hilfiger, who was apparently at the beach when he answered Law’s call.
The brief cameo left a presumably young sect of the population completely shocked, as they realized Tommy Hilfiger wasn’t a made-up brand name, but an actual man behind the billion-dollar company. Unsurprisingly, these reactions triggered another wave of shock from those who were familiar with the legend, whose designs dominated urban fashion in the 1990s and early aughts.
“Hip-hop built Tommy. They were proud of Tommy when he was a billion dollar company, and that they had built it. They took ownership, and I think that’s what hip-hop does. They choose,” Russell Simmons told Complex in 2016. “Tommy was one of the brands that they loved and built. What was great about Tommy is that Tommy gave back to the community that built him. Without him, I wouldn’t have had Phat Farm. I think he made a contribution to almost everybody who started brands, whether it was just advice or inspiration. He would sit down and talk to you. He actually introduced me to some of my licenses. He was very helpful.”
You can read some of the reactions below.