Tom Ford is best known as the man who rescued Gucci – transforming the label from near bankruptcy to one of the highest valued luxury brands within just a few years.
Since launching his own label in 2006, Ford has successfully earned his right as one of the most influential voices in style and fashion, winning many international awards for both his work in the fashion industry and as an accomplished film director.
Here’s what the fashion guru has to say for himself:
1. “The Gucci woman – you know what she’s after. The Saint Laurent woman – she’s going to torture you a little bit. You might have sex, but she will drip a little hot wax on you first.”
2. “A man should never wear shorts in the city. Flip-flops and shorts in the city are never appropriate. Shorts should only be worn on the tennis court or on the beach.”
3. “I think that there are fashion designers who are artists. Alexander McQueen was an artist. He was a breathtaking, spectacular, go-down-in-history artist. What I do, and I’ve always said this, is commercial design.”
4. “At home, off-duty, I wear T-shirts from Fruit of the Loom but I have them tailored – if the sleeves are cut over the tricep your arms look much better.”
5. “I love fashion. What I love is the ability to express yourself, to be able to make a product and shoot an ad campaign that tosses you out into the world and lets you have a voice in contemporary culture, iconography. I felt a little bit neutered not having that voice.”
6. “As a fashion designer, I was always aware that I was not an artist, because I was creating something that was made to be sold, marketed, used, and ultimately discarded.”
7. “Fashion is everything. Art, music, furniture design, graphic design, hair, makeup, architecture, the way cars look – all those things go together to make a moment in time, and that’s what excites me.”
8. “It’s a lesson you learn working on 7th Avenue that if your collection doesn’t sell, the very next day you’re fired and you’re literally escorted out by a security guard. It teaches you that if it won’t sell, it just doesn’t work. So you learn to make it successful and then, once you’ve established that you’re doing something that works, you have the freedom to be more creative.”
9. “One of the most important things is to figure out what your look is — I don’t wear this black suit-white shirt combination all the time to try and be iconic — but because I’m most comfortable in this. Cary Grant never turned up in a pink jacket and hot pants and I don’t feel the need to experiment when I know I like dressing this way.”
10. “If I’m going out in the world, I should make everything look as good as it can by looking my best, it’s a show of respect. Maybe a lot of you are thinking ‘oh he’s so full of it’, but this is how I feel, is that it’s a show of respect to other people who have to look at you! You should try to look as good as you can look and help make the scenery look good.”