Tommy Hilfiger says the key to his brand's success is "always looking into the future".

The 69-year-old designer was crowned Design Lead of the Year at the 2020 GQ Men of the Year Awards on Thursday (26.11.20).

And the founder of the premium fashion house has revealed that ensuring the brand is "eternally youthful" and "a step ahead" of their competition, whilst also appealing to different cultures are the ingredients to their longevity.

Speaking to GQ Magazine, Hilfiger said: "I think I am where I am because I’m always looking ahead, always looking into the future, trying to keep a step ahead of my competition and staying relevant by keeping the brand eternally youthful.

“In order to survive you need to be global, but you need to have an understanding of what that really means. The brand needs to work in Dublin and Tokyo and London and Milan, but it needs to respond to those cultures too.”

Looking to the future, Hilfiger believes that runway fashion shows are "a thing of the past" and will be replaced with a "digital virtual reality".

He said: "I would really like to push the brand forward into the digital and virtual world.

“I don’t necessarily believe in runway fashion shows any longer, as I think they’re a thing of the past. The future of fashion is changing rapidly, although I really believe that it will always be the product that is first and foremost, as the product has to be desirable. The way in which our brand is shown and marketed will change dramatically in the coming years, as we’re entering a digital virtual reality. This is the metaverse, a world where we’re all going to be shopping 24/7 on our mobile devices."

And Hilfiger insisted that brands need to focus on sustainability as the younger generation care a great deal about reducing their carbon footprint.

He added: “But we need connection, too, and we need our customers to believe in what we do, because the customers are quite rightly demanding. The younger consumer now cares about sustainability, about transparency, cares very much about the message they’re portraying as a result of what they’re wearing. They’re upcycling, recycling, buying vintage, buying used and there’s a whole different mentality today.”