With over 30 years of experience in the industry across global brands like Gap and Adidas, Alegra O’Hare is tasked with big picture ideas in her role as chief marketing officer at Tommy Hilfiger. Joining the company in April 2021, she said the secret behind the success of the brand is less than otherworldly. “It’s always about the people. Having the right people with the right experience, leadership, qualities and values is the key to the success of anything,” said O’Hare.
Tommy has undergone a radical shift toward going after Gen-Z and Gen-Alpha consumers with dedicated metaverse strategies. That’s included appearing at Decentraland’s Metaverse Fashion Week in March and launching a collection of NFTs. “Tommy himself has a huge appetite for the metaverse and for integrating it into everything we’re doing,” she said. “I’ve always considered the metaverse to be the eighth continent because it’s this unexplored territory we’re all trying to go to and understand how it works. It’s definitely going to be a game-changer, not just for our industry, but [also for] culture at large,” she said.
O’Hare’s people-first policy also focuses on hiring those who can share the brand’s values. “It’s really important to share the values with people you’re hiring, [more so] now than 10 or 20 years ago. It’s so much more important to people that you stand for sustainability, inclusivity and diversity. [Customers] really want to see that and be part of that,” she said.
One example of those values in action is the Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Frontier Challenge, which launched its fourth edition in March this year. The Challenge selects innovative fashion startups, especially those founded by individuals from underrepresented communities, and awards them grants to accelerate their work.
O’Hare said the role of a marketer has changed, especially when it comes to connecting with cultures across global markets. “Staying connected with cultures is the most critical thing right now, and [as we’re] coming off the back of Covid and unable travel, that’s been a lot more difficult,” she said. “In my prior jobs — at Gap, and especially at Adidas — I traveled 70% of my time as the vp for global brand marketing.”
With most marketing now being synonymous with brand presence across social media channels, the importance of communicating with the customer and conveying brand values has been elevated. “The issue with social is that we always consider it to be a channel, which is the wrong thing to think about. [Instead, social] is about the conversation. If we flip that thinking, then social needs to be built upfront. It needs to be part of everything you do from the beginning,” she said.
Click here for the full list of top marketers.