Dee Ocleppo

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Dee Ocleppo Hilfiger
Deniz Caroline Erbuğ

(1966-11-24) November 24, 1966 (age 52)
OccupationFashion designer, former model, financier, philanthropist
Dee Ocleppo
Spouse(s)Gianni Ocleppo
(m. ??; div. 2003)
Tommy Hilfiger
(m. 2008)

Dee Ocleppo Hilfiger (née Deniz Caroline Erbuğ) is a first-generation American fashion designer and entrepreneur.

The former fashion model-turned financier (commodities broker) is married to fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger[1] and mother of Italian professional tennis player and model Julian Ocleppo.[2]

Early life[edit]

Hilfiger was born in Cleveland, Ohio and raised in East Greenwich, Rhode Island. Her parents are Turkish and British immigrants and both moved to the United States to pursue academic careers. Her father, a retired radiologist, was born in Istanbul and her mother, a British microbiologist, was born in Birmingham, England.[3]

Los Angeles-based photographer, videographer, and talent manager Jean Renard discovered Ocleppo Hilfiger and encouraged her to pursue modeling. Renard also discovered and managed the career of Niki Taylor.[4]


In recent years, Ocleppo Hilfiger has become most known for creating and serving as lead designer of the eponymous luxury accessory label Dee Ocleppo, which includes a line of handbags with interchangeable features.

In January 2017, the fashion entrepreneur became co-owner and creative director of a strategic partnership consisting of her eponymous brand and the Judith Leiber label.

Dee Ocleppo Label[edit]

Ocleppo Hilfiger initially suggested that her husband, Tommy Hilfiger, consider a line for his own iconic eponymous brand. However, Mr. Hilfiger convinced his wife to embark on creating a line of vintage-style luxury handbags under her own label.[5] Among stylistic influencers of Mrs. Hilfiger's label, she credits Lauren Hutton, Grace Kelly and her friend Iris Apfel.[6]

Under the auspices of D.H. Designs LLC and with encouragement from HSN's CEO Mindy Grossman, Ocleppo Hilfiger launched her accessory line in 2012, selling her first handbag to the mega-retail luxury department store Harrods. She then opened a showroom at Trump Tower in Manhattan and more recently at Galeries Lafayette's flagship store in Paris.[7]

In 2015, she launched Bag bar, which is a design-your-own accessory system for classic handbags, which was purchased by Kate Spade and Company.[8]

In January 2017, Ocleppo Hilfiger announced that the Dee Ocleppo brand would partner with the Judith Leiber label, owned by Manhattan-based consumer brand and licensing conglomerate Authentic Brands Group, which also owns Jones New York, and department stores including Macy's, Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale's. As the new co-owner, Mrs. Hilfiger will become the brand's creative director and serve as its global ambassador.[9]


In 2016, Ocleppo Hilfiger was presented with the "Rising Star Award" by Fashion Group International, the global nonprofit authority on trending apparel, accessories, as well as beauty merchandise and home products. Celebrities who have been photographed/carrying with Dee Ocleppo handbags in recent years in include Pippa Middleton, Olivia Palermo, Beyonce, Alicia Keys.[10]

In 2015, Ocleppo Hilfiger was awarded The National Mother’s Day Committee’s "Outstanding Mother Awards" along with Liz Rodbell, Joanna Coles, and Meredith Vieira.[11]

On Mother's Day 2013, Ocleppo Hilfiger was the honored recipient of the "Moms 4 Mom" award by Autism Speaks in celebration of motherhood and autism advocacy.[12]

Community Service/Philanthropy[edit]

Ocleppo Hilfiger is on the board of Autism Speaks an advocacy organization of great personal interest, as she and her husband have step children and a child together on the Autism Spectrum. Mrs. Hilfiger has also widely supported various nonprofit organizations through philanthropy and other means, including the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Personal life[edit]

Ocleppo met Mr. Hilfiger while vacationing with her two sons in Saint Tropez in the summer of 2005. A friendship evolved and the couple celebrated an engagement in New York City attended by numerous celebrities and public figures including Russell Simmons, Anna Wintour, and Harvey Weinstein. The Hilfigers married in 2008.[13] Their youngest son Sebastian (born in 2009) is still at home while the family splits time [14] among residences in Miami, Mustique, Manhattan and Greenwich, Connecticut.[15]

Ocleppo Hilfiger raised her two oldest boys in Monte Carlo after living in Europe for several years. She is a parent of seven children/step children between the ages of 8 and 22, and is a proponent of The Family Dinner Project in an effort to "revive the lost art of dinner conversation." According to her website, she encourages family discussion and discourse without the interruption of cell phones, as one small way families can build cohesion and open dialogue in an age when technology can impede family communication.[16]

Mrs. Hilfiger is a maternal cousin of Shakespearean actor-director Brice Stratford.[17] Hilfiger was previously married to retired Italian tennis professional Gianni Ocleppo and dated British pop star Mick Hucknell in the 1990s.


External links[edit]