CHELSEA — Fashion-forward students in Chelsea got a chance to meet their idol when luminary designer Tommy Hilfiger paid a visit to answer students' questions and see their work.
Hilfiger was joined by Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott — who made it clear that he knew nothing about fashion — at the High School of Fashion Industries on West 24th Street, where students pursue an aggressive curriculum of style and design.
Hilfiger, whose eponymous fashion line has stores across the globe, also surprised the class of elated juniors with invitations to his Fashion Week show Friday night.
The designer, who started what would become the Tommy Hilfiger Corporation when he was still in high school, told the aspiring designers that their best bet to get a foot in the door in the fashion world is to work at a retail clothing store.
"You will learn so much. You will learn that every customer has a different request," he said.
"That, I think, is a great education."
He added that the students should pay attention to the business end of fashion, not just design.
Hilfiger also saw student work — in one case, wondering out loud why a design didn't get a better grade.
"I become very inspired by the students because I'm looking for designers for my team," he said.
"There are lots of opportunities in the fashion industries, always, for students."