Tommy Hilfiger

by Alexa from San Diego

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Finding Success in a Struggle


"It is estimated that 1 in 10 people have dyslexia. Over 40 million American Adults are dyslexic - and only 2 million know it".("Dyslexia Facts and Statistics.") Tommy Hilfiger was one of those 2 million Americans who had no idea he was dyslexic. Tommy Hilfiger is a widely known designer, mainly for his preppy American style. You can find him traveling the world with his fashion shows and clothing and accessory lines. His net worth is two hundred fifty million. Hilfiger was born March 24, 1981, he was the second of his nine siblings, and he lived in New York with his family most of his early life, in his 20's he began to move out and go on his own. He was never excellent in school, since he repeated grades a few times. Yet his struggle of dyslexia not allowing him to thrive in school didn't stop him from achieving his life goal of becoming a successful designer. To consider someone a hero there are many different types of qualities one must possess. A hero must be successful and determined. Tommy Hilfiger is a hero by proving to people it's possible to be successful even with a disability, through his determination to create his fashion company.

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Success didn't come easily to Hilfiger since he struggled with a disability and not knowing his whole childhood.  Dyslexia is a condition that makes the human brain switch around letters and numbers, it makes it difficult to read and write. Hilfiger was diagnosed with it after schooling and wasn't aware he had it until he was an adult. "Hilfiger attributes his dyslexia as one of the inspirations for him becoming a clothing designer. He believes that his lack of a formal education led him to being a unique designer who crafts different apparel than his fashion counterparts."(Tommy Hilfiger The) Since having dyslexia and becoming a great person in the fashion industry, he can inspire people who have disabilities that they can achieve great things if they put their mind to it, and not give up their passion. At the time college wasn't a priority so he decided to jump right into anything that had to do with fashion. He used what he had and kept going and used his struggles as keys to success "Although the designer struggled with his schooling, he chose to take his own route and emerged as a successful name in the fashion industry. Hilfiger focused on his own strengths and utilized any difficult ordeals that came his way as a tool to further strive for success."(Tommy Hilfiger The) He was brave since he took his own path of life and lived his life the way he wanted and it paid off for him. He did things for himself and didn't care what others thought. Dyslexia didn't stop Hilfiger from achieving his goal to be a successful fashion designer. Hilfiger is one of the most well know designers in the industry. In order to be determined, you must have a goal set into your mind, Hilfiger's mindset was to be a designer.

Hilfiger with his models ( ())
Hilfiger with his models ( ())



Even when not fitting the role of a football player, making the team was a goal for him."Where he was neither a star athlete (he was so small, he had to sneak 15-pound weights in his pockets to get on the football team) or student (he suffered from undiagnosed dyslexia)."(Tommy Hilfiger Biography) He found ways around it. Kept going and didn't let his weight stop him from making the football team. Or his dyslexia to stop him from finishing school and not dropping out. Hilfiger never gave up and kept going towards his goal and didn't let his disability get in the way of his all time goal. Struggling wasn't something new to Hilfiger yet finding the light in dark situations was. "My eyes would jump from one line to another. I would land in the middle of a page and start reading upward. Sometimes I would start at the right side of the page and read backward-and I could not control it. I wanted to learn. I was curious. I guess."(Hilfiger) When growing up he was nothing special, no clear talents to show off to anyone. Yet he worked hard and spent his time working towards his goal. He had no fever and never cared what people thought of him. He wore what he wanted and opened his store with spending all the money he had which is all he had. If people said his decisions were wrong, Hilfiger's could care less, they were just in his way. Hilfiger's determination lead him to achieve his biggest goal.



Hilfiger's success displayed that even when struggling with a disability, success is achievable if you are determined. Becoming a well-known designer and having millions of people wear your clothes every day is a huge accomplishment in life. This doesn't come easy yet is possible if you keep going strong and not giving up. Since the beginning Hilfiger has been determined to learn to read correctly and get on the football team even if he wasn't built for it. Having immediate family being dyslexic opened my eyes on the struggle of an everyday life. Seeing how successful and determined Hilfiger was to create his dream made me realize he is a huge inspiration to the millions of people who struggle with this disability. With over 40 million people with dyslexia Hilfiger is here to be a prime example that it's possible to get through academics, achieve your dream, and not let dyslexia get in your way of success.

Work Cited

"Dyslexia Facts and Statistics." Austin Learning Solutions. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 May 2017.

Hilfiger, Tommy, and Peter Knobler. American Dreamer: My Life in Fashion and Business. New York: Ballantine, 2016. Print.

"Tommy Hilfiger." Editors. A&E Networks Television, 29 Feb. 2016. Web. 28 Apr. 2017.

Tommy Hilfiger." The Power Of Dyslexia. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Apr. 2017.


Page created on 6/22/2017 5:38:37 PM

Last edited 7/4/2017 5:23:40 PM

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Related Links

Learning disabilities - Signs and Symptoms
The Power of Dyslexia - Tommy Hilfiger