What are you doing here, Tommy?

Maria Brachelli

Let’s face it. Or, let’s embrace it. Villanova prides itself on aesthetics. When visiting campus, whether it be for a day or full-time, one cannot overlook the well-maintained lawns, beautiful landscaping, and of course, perfectly manicured, designer-bag-toting students.

This semester, to appeal to designer-loving students, the buyers in the University Store in Kennedy decided to provide students with Villanova wardrobe options different from than previous years – by branching into designer collegiate clothing.

Walk into the university store, plop your bags into the appropriate cubes, and there stands the University’s newest line of clothing, Tommy Hilfiger merchandise.

Right now, the university only offers Tommy tops in the store, primarily polos and sweaters. Alumni merchandise is available to purchase online. However, based on student response to the current stock, buyers have plans to extend the line to additional items of which they feel will interest students, including skirts, pants and t-shirts for the spring of 2005.

“We were excited because it was a recognizable brand coming into the store,” Rita Milligan, assistant director for merchandising and marketing for the University Store, said. The buyers made the decision to carry Tommy merchandise after a trip to New York about three weeks ago as part of a focus group to see what new lines would sell in schools. “They had a pretty vast line; we just didn’t know what to bring in. We have to wait and see how it sells in here,” she finished.

Tommy Hilfiger merchandise varies in price, depending on the item and starting at about $30. Currently, the short-sleeved, pastel-colored polos are priced $54.99, and the sweaters about $77.

Thus far, “The girls’ merchandise is selling very well,” Milligan said. “It may just be the wrong time of year for the male merchandise (it’s not golf season),” Jane Delgrippo, assistant buyer of the University Store explained. Alumni sales are expected to increase with homecoming in the next month.

“I think that they’re really cute,” senior Julie Psota said about the women’s tops. “But I would never spend that much money on a shirt or sweater,” she continued.

Approaching universities and colleges across the country, Tommy Hilfiger has managed to branch away the typical market into a full line of collegiate wear.

After starting only a year ago, Tommy Hilfiger collegiate merchandise has entered the stores of many other universities, including the University of Pennsylvania and University of Florida, among others.

University store buyers remain hopeful for big sales on the new Tommy Hilfiger line. And while the higher-priced items may pull a few too many pennies out of the pockets of students, senior Kate Tenboom’s suggestion may solve the problem: “I’m sure that some students’ parents would buy them for them.”