CORNING, N.Y. (WENY) -- The 10th anniversary celebration of the Tommy Hilfiger store in Corning was celebrated Friday, and the man behind the name even made a special appearance.

Fans of the beloved designer lined up outside the Market Street location for a special meet-and-greet with the Elmira native himself.

The event was not just a celebration of the store's decade-long success, however. Tommy's sister, Betsy Hilfiger, said it was also a "kick-off" for a month-long fundraiser for the Food Bank of the Southern Tier. For just $10, fashion lovers were able to receive a T-shirt that was signed and personalized by Hilfiger himself. 

The event came before the entire Hilfiger family officially debuted the Tommy Hilfiger Fashion School of Business at Elmira College, a project that had been in the works for over two years.

Tommy himself was thrilled to bring his knowledge of the fashion industry back to the Southern Tier, and appreciated all the support the community has given to his family and business over the years.

"Well the people of Corning were kind enough to find a location for me," he said. "They were very generous and supportive. That was first and foremost a great move. But I like the traffic [of the Market Street location]. I like the tourist traffic, and locals from Elmira, Corning, and all over the area embrace my brand."

The famed designer said he is proud of fulfilling his dream of making the company a "true global lifestyle brand," and hinted that the Hilfiger family already has plans for the future of the business and their involvement in the Twin Tiers.