Rafael Nadal began his reign yesterday as the new face of Tommy Hilfiger’s newest range of underwear, tailored garments, and fragrance, TH Bold, and what better way to celebrate than with a tennis match? Team Tommy chose to descend upon Bryant Park with a tennis court—in brand-appropriate colors, bien sûr!—for a bit of “sexy tennis,” in which a handful of models ditched one piece of clothing for each lost point until they arrived down to their skivvies.
Tommy Hilfiger Hosts “Strip Tennis” Match to Welcome Rafael Nadal
Chanel Iman teamed up with superstar SoulCycle instructor Akin Akman, Noah Mills was partnered with Constance Jablonski, and Hannah Davis played alongside Arthur Kulkov. Bloggers Danielle Bernstein and BryanBoy served as the official ballgirl and ballboy respectively, while the entire spectacle was umpired by Jane Lynch. Lynch sat alongside Nadal himself through the quirky match before the tennis superstar ditched his seat in the ump’s chair to show the crowd just how he became a tennis legend, beating Akin Akman, who was left standing on the court in nothing but a pair of navy blue boxer briefs from the new collection.
“Our underwear business became not as exciting, because it turned into a white briefs business. It didn’t have any luster to it,” Mr. Hilfiger revealed during a post-match chat at The Bryant Park Hotel with The Daily. “ We kept thinking and talking about how we should reinvent the underwear business. So we created something sporty and sexy, and made a fabric that’s a four-way stretch, and created the boxer brief.” With New York Fashion Week looming, he went on to reveal that this season will be bigger and better. “You’re not going to see tennis on the runway in September,” he said with a laugh. “It will be a spectacular show. We’re pulling out the stops to do something unique and different and young and very cool.”
Nadal later joined in on the conversation after an outfit change into a new suit. “At the beginning, I thought it would be crazy,” he said of the steamy commercial, which is set in a locker room and depicts the tennis star dropping his briefs. “There was a great morale when we were shooting. I had fun doing the video and the photos. We were in Mallorca. I like the way that the things came out, and I hope the people will like it.”
Expect to see the campaign on nearly every billboard, magazine, newspaper, and television network for at least the next year.