June 11, 2012 12:00 PM

Perched high above Fifth Avenue in New York City, Tommy Hilfiger’s penthouse apartment in the Plaza Hotel serves as the perfect reflection of his four-year marriage to commodities broker-turned-handbag designer Dee. “She lived in Europe for many years and sold her villa in Monaco. Where I was living was more modern. We mixed everything together, and it’s a good balance,” says Hilfiger, 61, who painstakingly restored their two-story escape with Dee, 45. “It’s a real eclectic mix of modernism and old-world charm.” To that end they brought in ornate dining-room chairs from India that have been occupied by guests such as Jennifer Lopez and Mick Jagger. They covered their walls with original photos of Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor because “we like American icons,” says Hilfiger. And, as an ode to the historic hotel, the couple commissioned Eloise illustrator Hilary Knight to create a whimsical mural featuring the Hilfigers, their son Sebastian, 2, and the rest of their blended brood (Hilfiger has four grown children from a previous marriage; Dee has two sons ages 14 and 16) frolicking in Central Park. “Dee and I really worked on everything together because we wanted to create a family home,” he says. “We wanted it to be cozy enough where it wouldn’t be too cold or stark. And we wanted it to be fun.”

While the designer-who will accept the Council of Fashion Designers of America’s Lifetime Achievement Award on June 4-has built a billion-dollar brand on his classic preppy designs, Hilfiger’s heart lies in more modern pop art. “I’ve been collecting Warhol, Basquiat, Haring, Richard Prince for a long time, so I wanted to be able to put those up and show them,” he says. And he believes that his passion has been passed on to his son: “He likes painting and drawing. Once in a while we catch him navigating around the place with a marker,” says Hilfiger. Adds Dee: “Fortunately, he has never hit that destructive phase!”



A private tour of Hilfiger’s home

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