Tommy Boy: Theophilus London

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Published September 6, 2011

 

PHOTO BY JONATHAN MANNION

 

Before even releasing a proper album, up-and-coming retro-rapper Theophilus London was named the face of Tommy Hilfiger. Like the beats in his popular mixtapes, London’s style is a mix of New Wave and old-school rap. Hilfiger, who hand-picked the rapper for his campaigns and to host his event during Fashion’s Night Out, asks him where in Brooklyn he picked up his global appeal.

TOMMY HILFIGER: “Kids in America,” our Hilfiger Denim campaign this year, was an amazing group of emerging New York talent which you were a part of.  What do you think is happening right now in music coming out of New York, and especially Brooklyn?

THEOPHILUS LONDON: The attitudes and courage of the kids in Brooklyn is really starting to shine all over the world! The lifestyle moments are all being documented second by second, and people are really appreciating it.

HILFIGER: I’m looking forward to seeing you at our FNO party at our Fifth Avenue store—what can people expect to see when they come?

LONDON: Patriotic excitement! Emotional love and courage for America! And yes, of course, brand-new songs off [forthcoming album] TIMEZ ARE WEIRD THESE DAYZ.

HILFIGER: Your music influences run from Prince and Michael Jackson to Morrissey and Elvis Costello, all mixed with an old school street-style. Do you think it’s part of this emerging generation of musicians to have sounds influenced by so many genres?

LONDON: We love the ’60s, ’70s, and the ’80s! It was so documented and so awesome to look back on! My life and my stories are getting more interesting… my experience with people, my taste in shopping, and the tremendous amount of traveling I do influence me.

HILFIGER I like how your fashion sense changes up quite a bit—as I always say, “no rules.” What influences you in fashion?

LONDON: Experience, sexiness, and courage.
 
HILFIGER: I worked with Mark Ronson in the past as well—he was a part of one of our ad campaigns. What did you collaborate on together?

LONDON We wrote music together and also created a faux band titled Chauffeur that we toured in Japan and London.

HILFIGER: What can we expect from you in the next year?

LONDON: Lots of music and lots of fashion!

THEOPHILUS LONDON WILL HOST A FASHION’S NIGHT OUT PARTY, OPEN TO THE PUBLIC, AT THE TOMMY HILFIGER FLAGSHIP STORE ON THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 8.