28 Oct 2016 05:02 PM EST
-by Laura Tucker, Staff Writer; Image: Tommy Hilfiger (Image Source: Tommy Hilfiger via Wikimedia Commons)
Much has been said over the years about Michael Jackson's bizarre lifestyle, both before and after his death.
In his new book, American Dream: My Life in Fashion & Business, designer Tommy Hilfiger describes an odd business meeting he had with the "Thriller" singer.
In the early 90s, Hilfiger had a planned meeting with Jackson at his Neverland Ranch. He wanted the designer to collaborate with him on a clothing line.
Hilfiger, his brother Andy, and daughter Ally landed at the ranch via helicopter.
"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," he described. "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. Ally and Andy were looking at each other, like 'This is crazy!'"
Hilfiger finally met up with the pop star, wearing sunglasses, in his dark mahogany office. He "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."
The other oddities that the designer witnessed centered around Jackson's children: "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."
Regardless of the extent that he'd gone through to get to this point in the meeting, Hilfiger's partners passed on the deal as they had "bigger deals in mind," as they were negotiating to buy Calvin Klein. Regardless, "Michael continued to call and ask us to reconsider, but our decision was firm, and he never did the clothing line," he wrote.
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