Tommy Hilfiger's 'crazy' Michael Jackson encounter
Tommy Hilfiger's first encounter with the late Michael Jackson was "crazy".
The 65-year-old fashion designer has recalled meeting the 'Thriller' hitmaker at his "deserted" Neverland home to discuss plans to collaborate on a clothing line, and he couldn't believe his eyes when he saw elephants and a giraffe in the grounds of the abode.
Speaking about the music legend - who died in 2009 - in his memoir 'American Dreamer: My Life in Fashion and Business', he wrote: "A choo-choo train, with a conductor and everything, picked us up. We were driving through Neverland, and no one was there. As we passed the Ferris wheel, it started up. Every seat was empty. We saw teacup rides and a racetrack and an amphitheater, all deserted.
"We pulled up in front of the house, and a butler came out wearing white gloves. 'Hello,' he said. 'Michael will be coming; he is expecting you.' We were standing in front of this massive gingerbread-style house when a giraffe walked by, followed by a string of baby elephants. [Tommy's brother] Ally and [Tommy's daughter] Andy were looking at each other, like 'This is crazy!'"
"Prince and Paris came barreling down the stairs dressed as characters from a Broadway show or 'The Sound of Music' - velveteen knickers, dirndl jumper, ruffled blouses, patent leather shoes, each in full makeup, their hair bleached blond with dark roots. Blanket was an infant in nanny's arms."
Tommy - who founded his eponymous label in 1985 - revealed Michael was perched on an "enormous" throne, but appeared nervous and "fidgety" whilst pitching his idea to him.
He explained: "[Michael] was sitting in an enormous gold-and-burgundy throne ... His face was heavily made up and he had a Band-Aid across his nose. He was fidgety. He said, 'We really have to do this clothing line together. I have millions of fans all over the world who are waiting for it.' He spoke in the same wispy voice we had all grown accustomed to."
While Michael was persistent in his efforts to join forces with Tommy, the creative mastermind was adamant it wouldn't work and continued to reject the musician's offer.
He said: "Michael continued to call and ask us to reconsider, but our decision was firm, and he never did the clothing line."