Shawn Mendes talks Tommy Hilfiger and future nostalgia

There isn’t much Shawn Mendes won’t put his hand to. Aside from the usual raking in of music awards, he’s recently written the score for, and voiced, an animated crocodile, and been hard at work campaigning to normalise crop tops worn by men (“Don’t be afraid to pick them up, guys!”). Couple that with a near-universal ‘fawn for Shawn’ and it seems fair to award him the status of current pop icon. Now, to top it all off, he’s the new, sparkling, youthful face of Tommy Hilfiger.

Tommy x Shawn is a powerful duo. Obsession-worthy star plus U.S. style powerhouse is a recipe for next-generation appeal. So, a special occasion merits a special title. ‘Classics Reborn’: it’s a brave statement, sure, but it checks out. Reminiscent of the past and committed to the future, the much-anticipated campaign celebrates ‘rebirth’—personal, collective, and environmental. The capsule collection features classic denims, rugby shirts and college-style bombers, all accompanied by lashings of the Shawn Mendes name (if you’ve got it, flaunt it) and seasoned with stars and stripes. With 28 pieces, it’s a bold and selective statement on timeless yet modern style: this is pre-90s prep for the twenty-first century. Better yet, recycled materials and technical advancements galore mean that it’s another step towards Tommy Hilfiger’s headline goal of being a totally sustainable, circular business by 2030.

A self-proclaimed lover of the environment himself, and with many of his nearest and dearest also starring in the campaign, this was a personal experience for Mendes. Here’s his take.

You were announced as Tommy Hilfiger’s sustainability ambassador in spring last year. Tell us more about the partnership.

Working with Tommy & team has been amazing. The process has been so creative and inspiring, and also feels very important since we both value sustainability so greatly. It’s truly been an honour.

What is your first Tommy Hilfiger memory?

I mean, I’ve been wearing Tommy my entire life. Probably when I was a kid my mum dressed me in an entire Tommy tracksuit.

How was it designing the capsule collection together with Tommy?

Very cool and collaborative. Tommy’s styles are classic, yet always have an added layer that make them unique. Getting to understand how these pieces come to life, especially the ones with sustainability at the forefront, has been really incredible.

‘Classics Reborn’ is the campaign accompanying the collection. It celebrates the collision of creativity, energy, voices and ideas that go into the rebirth of material and self on our pursuit of living sustainably. Why is sustainability important to you?

Sustainability is important to me because the future of our planet depends on it. I always try to be conscious of my personal impact, and make more mindful choices in my daily life. The climate crisis is something you really can’t ignore anymore, and what we wear can have such an enormous environmental impact, so I am so excited to be working with Tommy on ‘Classics Reborn’ to do my part in ensuring that what we wear and put into the world is more sustainable.

How do you consider sustainability in your everyday life? And how do you take sustainability into consideration when it comes to fashion and style?

I personally try to make choices of what I wear based on sustainability first, and to upcycle and thrift when I can. I also think it’s important to pick pieces of high-quality clothing that you can use repeatedly.

What have you learned about sustainability throughout the design process?

I’ve learned a lot about how sustainable fashion and the design process works. It’s crazy how many points there are during production that can be improved to make things more sustainable, from the dyes used to how the fabric is cut. I’m so grateful to have spent time with Tommy and his design team to really sit down and learn about different materials and processes. Tommy also worked with my team to design my outfits for shows and events that included vintage and more sustainable options.

What is your favourite piece in the collection?

The blue classic jacket.

What advice would you give to someone who would like to live more sustainably and contribute to a positive change?

Start small, do what you can, and try to keep yourself accountable. Don’t change your entire life overnight, it’s impossible to sustain that. And know that the small wins and choices you make really do matter.

Shawn Mendes wears unbuttoned, baggy shirt, posing against a blue sky
The full cast of the Tommy x Shawn campaign pose for a group photo

Tommy x Shawn: ‘Classics Reborn’ is available now. Check it out here.

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