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American Dreamer: My Life in Fashion and Business By Tommy Hilfiger and Peter Knobler Book Review

Reasons For Reading This Book:

I have been a fan of Tommy Hilfiger fashion for many years and have always been interested in the campaigns and fashion shows that they produce. While browsing the shelves at the library I came across American Dreamer: My Life in Fashion and Business By Tommy Hilfiger and Peter Knobler and put it on my to read list for my next read. I knew very little about Tommy Hilfiger other than the fashion I see so I was interested in learning about his life personally, with fashion, and with business. At the time I was reading a lot of memoirs and thought why not read another one about someone I do not know much about.

Content of This Book:

Tommy Hilfiger was born and raised in Elmira, New York alongside this 8 brothers and sisters. The relationship or lack there of between him and his father lead him to dream of a life of fame and fortune. His love of fashion and motivation to have the American dream drove him into the world of retail and eventually into designing and owning his own fashion company. Tommy was innovative in his designs and campaigns by fusing together his love of music and fashion. His rise to fame and fortune was met with challenges with business partners, finances, doubt and not being taken serious as he never officially studied fashion or business. Through it all Tommy Hilfiger the person and company became global icons in fashion and culture.

What I Liked About This Book:

I liked that it was told in chronological order and the timeline was easy to follow. The each chapter had a single theme and the stories and information told in those pages did relate to the theme and the concluding thoughts of that section brought it back to that theme. I am a visual person so the inclusion of the pictures both on the chapter title pages and the colored sections of pictures were helpful to see the people, fashion, places, and stores. One thing that I can appreciate about this memoir is the inclusion of the childhood stories and lessons learned at a young age did clearly have an impact on him as a person and how he chose to live his life. The theme of the poor relationship between Tommy and his father was referenced throughout the whole book and gave reason for why he is the way he is. With it being a memoir, Tommy was very honest, vulnerable, and open with the reader about all areas of his life. There was not much that was not discussed. It is as though every little thing was given at least one sentence of recognition in this book. Another thing I will praise the book on it that the pace of the plot was consistent from start to finish. There were no real slow parts. One last thing I will commend the book for it that the title and overall message of the book being American Dreamer and the goal to achieve success and money was discussed and shown throughout the entire book. So, good choice on the title.


What I Disliked About This Book:

The best way I can describe how I felt reading this book is distaste. Usually when I read a memoir or watch a documentary about a person, I am left with positive feelings about them. I am sure this is because most memoirs and documentaries are trying to show the positive and likeable parts about a person and their life. In Tommy’s memoir I felt he tried to do the same thing but it did not land. One of my biggest complaints about this book is the excessive name dropping. The writers did this for everything: people, stores, brands, hotels, restaurants, and places. I get that name dropping is essential for somethings, but this book was littered with it. It came off as bragging and inauthentic. The whole time I was reading it I just kept saying 'you can stop' but I had hope it would get better and it never really did. I am not sure if the reason for the excessive name dropping was because of the way in which the co-author Peter Knobler obtained his information from Tommy Hilfiger, but its use was very off-putting. As someone who is not very well educated in business and how business' are run or deals are made, those parts of the book were not interesting to me, but I do understand that both fashion and business were the two main topics. Another aspect of the book that I disliked was the level of detail. In addition to the excessive name dropping, unnecessary and unflattering details were given for everything. As you will read below the impression Tommy left on me was not good and one of the main reasons for this was what he chose to focus on when discussing people, especially women. It seemed like every time a new woman was brought into the narrative a physical description was given and she was either described as beautiful or not. I found the focus on women's looks to be off-putting and showed Tommy's true character. I could continue but I will stop here. 


Would I Recommend This Book?

Absolutely not! This is one of the worst memoirs I have ever read. Honestly, I am not a fan of him as a person but will continue to purchase the clothing and purses because they are good quality and match my style. I say pass on this book and look at the list below for better memoirs that are actually worth your time. 

Check out my book reviews for 2023!!

Horse by Geraldine Brooks  
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
Friday Night Lights by H.G. Bissinger
Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll
Hester by Laurie Pico Albanese
The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
Environmental and Sustainability Book Reviews 2022
Self-Improvement Book Reviews 2022
American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins
Know My Name by Chanel Miller
The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley
Not All Diamonds and Rosé by Dave Quinn
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Golden Girl by Elin Hilderbrand
Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus
Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton
A Flicker in the Dark by Stacy Willingham 
Girls With Bright Futures by Tracy Dobmeier and Wendy Katzman
Run, Rose, Run by James Patterson and Dolly Parton
The Summer Series by Jenny Han
A Stolen Life: A Memoir by Jaycee Dugard
The Housewives: The Real Story Behind the Real Housewives by Brian Moylan
Verity by Colleen Hoover
All Rhodes Lead Here by Mariana Zapata
Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid
Our Country Friends by Gary Shteyngart 
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
Majesty: American Royals 2 by Kathrine McGree
Every Last Secret by A.R. Torre

Check out my book reviews for 2021!!

2021 Book Rankings

Beach Read By Emily Henry
People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry
Maybe In Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Educated by Tara Westover
The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker
The Midnight Library by Matt Haig 
The Kitchen Front by Jennifer Ryan
Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
A Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins 
We Are the Brennans by Tracey Lange
Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
A Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins 
We Are the Brennans by Tracey Lange
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Klara and the Sun 
The Nature of Fragile Things by Susan Meissner
American Duchess by Karen Harper 
Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters
Girl With No Job by Claudia Oshry
Down the Habit Hole by Holly Madison Book Review
My Story by Elizabeth Smart
Layla by Colleen Hoover

Check out my book reviews for 2020!!

Check out my book reviews for 2019!!

Check out my book reviews from 2018!!

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