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  • Writer's pictureJeff Matthews

Weekend Edition: Tommy’s Family Values

BEHIND nearly every good bar fight is a beautiful woman – and the epic nightclub clash between Axl Rose and Tommy Hilfiger is no exception. While some say Hilfiger popped Rose in the eye after the Guns N’ Roses frontman moved Hilfiger’s girlfriend’s drink at The Plumm last Thursday night, Page Six has learned that the combatants have been at odds since Rose started dating Diane O’Connor, the ex-wife of Hilfiger’s adopted brother, denim designer Michael H. One source even went so far as to claim that the Hilfiger brothers had made a “pact” to pummel Rose on sight. While we’re not sure we believe that the preppie fashion icon – who just sold his empire for $1.6 billion – would engage in such premeditated thuggery, it might explain his seemingly unprovoked attack on Rose.—Page Six

It was the blandest of puff-pieces.

No, I’m not talking about the above-quoted Page Six report on last May’s bar brawl between the nightclub-hopping fashion icon Tommy Hilfiger and rock mega-has-been Axl Rose.

I’m talking about one of those formulaic he-worked-hard-to-gain-fame-and-fortune-then-met-adversity-and-is-now-making-a-comeback pieces of drivel common to television that appeared last night.

Most channel-surfers wouldn’t have paused more than a split-second before their brain snapped into instant pattern recognition mode, spotted the fashion-model images with the chirpy yet serious Talking Head narration for exactly the pap that it was, and directed their fingers to click onto a different channel.

Yet there was something in the vacuity of the questions and the fake sincerity of the subject’s answers so compellingly nauseating that the brain overloaded, synapses blew out, and the fingers couldn’t move.

It was a show about Tommy Hilfiger—Tommy building an empire! Tommy watching his empire begin to crumble! Tommy pondering whether to chuck it all for a movie-producing career! Tommy shaking off his doubts and deciding to rebuild his empire! And it was worth every second.

We learn Tommy’s secret to putting on a successful fashion show. It is—are you ready?—“music.” Yes, that’s the secret. Fashion shows are like concerts. They need great music.

You could almost hear the other fashion designers around the country slapping their foreheads and screaming, “Of course! Music! That’s the ticket!” We learn Tommy’s secret to creating a successful new line. It is—are you ready?—they must have a “theme.”“Sacre bleu!,” Coco Channel is weeping from the heavens, “Nous n’avons pas des ‘themes’! Quel Idiot!”

Tommy proudly tells us how he decided that the theme of his most recent line would be—put down any sharp objects you are holding, or you might injure yourself, it’s such a revelation—color.All the models would be wearing lots of color. Everything, Tommy intones, would be color.

You could almost see Calvin Klein hurling his Blackberry at the nearest assistant’s forehead: “Good God, man! He’s done it to me again! Now he’s using colors!” We learn how Tommy—he’s such a humanitarian—actually sewed the seeds of his own company’s crisis, by showing P. Diddy how to start an urban clothing line, just the type that would appeal to Tommy’s own hip, urban base.

And, because these superficial biographies always end on a reflective-yet-upbeat tone, we learn how Tommy faced the new competitive environment, when his multi-million paycheck from royalties paid by the public company bearing his name apparently veered dangerously close to single-digits, shook off thoughts of retirement, rejuvenated his management team and now occupies a good space in his life.

What did it? What sustained him? What brought him through such—hold your nose—adversity?

It is, we are told with a straight face, the “family values” that Tommy learned growing up in a large family with eight siblings.

I am not making that up.

The no-longer-married father with the “great girlfriend”—his words, not mine—and the Axl Rose grudge, owes it all to “family values.”Let’s go back to that Page Six story on the Tommy/Axl dust-up last May: A spokeswoman for Hilfiger declined repeated requests for comment yesterday, and Rose’s manager did not return calls.

But Rose told Page Six in an exclusive interview after the brawl that Hilfiger may have been angry because the designer – whom Rose described as “foaming at the mouth” – had been told to move to make room for the rock god and his entourage. Other witnesses said Hilfiger went nuclear after Rose moved a drink belonging to Hilfiger’s girlfriend.—Page Six From now on, I’m getting my celebrity news strictly from Page Six.

Jeff Matthews I Am Not Making This Up © 2007 Jeff Matthews

The content contained in this blog represents the opinions of Mr. Matthews. Mr. Matthews also acts as an advisor and clients advised by Mr. Matthews may hold either long or short positions in securities of various companies discussed in the blog based upon Mr. Matthews’ recommendations. This commentary in no way constitutes a solicitation of business or investment advice. It is intended solely for the entertainment of the reader, and the author.

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