Tom Ford: ‘I paid $90,000 for my own dress. The clothes we make are not meant to be thrown away’ | Fashion

Tom Ford solutions my cellphone name in exactly the best way I’d hoped he would: with a voice as clean as butter and the grace of Cary Grant.

We are in contact to talk about his newest undertaking, a coffee-table e-book charting the previous 15 years of his profession – or “post-Gucci”, as these accustomed to luxurious trend desire to describe the period that has adopted Ford’s departure from the Italian tremendous model.

Tom Ford 002, which spans 444 pages,contains imagery by photographers corresponding to Mert and Marcus and Inez & Vinoodh and a foreword by Anna Wintour. The listing of celebrities featured reads just like the lineup of certainly one of Ford’s trend present entrance rows with Drake, Rihanna, and Jennifer Lopez among the many headliners.

However first, the gentleman prefers small discuss. “You’re in London? How great. I miss it,” he says of the town he used to name residence.

Conrad Bromfeld and Pat Cleveland by Tom Ford
Fashions Conrad Bromfield and Pat Cleveland. {Photograph}: Tom Ford

Texan-born Ford speaks to me from Beverly Hills, the place he has lived since decamping from the UK in 2019. It’s lunchtime the place he’s, and the solar is shining. “I do a number of Zooms, nevertheless it’s good to discuss like this. It means I didn’t have to rise up and take a bathe beforehand,” he says. It’s reassuring to uncover that the person credited with reinventing intercourse attraction is having fun with a cover day of types.

Laid again is not a phrase generally related to Ford. As a designer, he stays fiercely loyal to the breed of high-octane glamour he used to remodel Gucci right into a billion-dollar enterprise. His model, which spans womenswear, menswear and cosmetics, is a standing image for the super-rich. Its scintillating advert campaigns, immediately recognisable as Ford’s, are an extension of his aesthetic.

A self-confessed “hyper Virgo”, Ford has an unforgiving eye for all the pieces from floral shows (single-stem bunches solely) to the size of a shirt cuff. He’s additionally trend’s starriest designer. Catwalk exhibits for the eponymous label he launched in 2004 appeal to a visitor listing to rival the Oscars. Julianne Moore and Rihanna are regulars. In 2013, Jay-Z named a track in his honour.

Jay Z by Lenny ‘Kodaklens’ Santiago
A track in Ford’s honour … Jay-Z.
{Photograph}: Lenny ‘Kodaklens’ Santiago

Ford is comfortable amongst Hollywood’s prime tier as a result of he’s in it. After parting methods with the Gucci group, he switched from trend to movie set. Ford’s movies – A Single Man (2009) and Nocturnal Animals (2019) – have been nominated for Academy Awards. Each are lovely to watch.

At residence, the place he lives along with his nine-year-old son Jack, Ford’s life has been upended. Richard Buckley, his accomplice of 35 years and Jack’s different father or mother, died in August. It appears poignant that Ford’s new e-book, the results of a lot reflection, ought to seem on cabinets when he’s processing such loss. “When Richard noticed the e-book, he mentioned: ‘That’s a number of water underneath the bridge’ and turned and left the room,” Ford says.

{A photograph} of Jack is amongst Ford’s favorite additions to the e-book. “It’s the solely shot I’ve ever launched of him publicly. He was 5 when it was taken, so nobody would recognise him from it,” he says.

A candid Q&A with Ladies’s Put on Day by day’s Bridget Foley can be featured. In it, Ford discusses all the pieces from exiting Gucci to being a part of the one homosexual couple on the golf membership and describes his son as his “primary focus”.

The designer additionally highlights the efficiency of fine style within the Buckley Ford household’s genes. “One time when he was 5, anyone at college requested what was the worst factor you could possibly consider. Jack mentioned: “Brown sneakers with a black belt.”

Richard Buckley and Tom Ford photographed by Simon Perry
Richard Buckley and Tom Ford.
{Photograph}: Simon Perry

Work on the e-book meant that Ford spent lockdown sifting by means of 1000’s of photos. “It was an attention-grabbing factor to spend a lot time wanting again,” he tells me, “it’s not one thing I do typically.”

His reluctance to take inventory is a hangover from his days at Gucci, when there was no time to pause for reflection, a interval that led to burnout, and he had what he has known as a “mid-life disaster”. “It’s laborious to look again once you’re continuously anticipated to produce,” he says. “I bear in mind having dinner with Karl Lagerfeld and him telling me that I’d solely perceive how effectively issues have been going sooner or later as soon as I had the possibility to return.”

Undoubtedly, this time of contemplation has enabled Ford to recognise how a lot issues have developed. He cites an “obsession with political correctness” as a disadvantage for this technology of trend designers. “Cancel tradition inhibits design as a result of somewhat than feeling free, the tendency is to begin locked right into a algorithm. The whole lot is now thought of appropriation. We used to be ready to have a good time different cultures. Now you may’t try this.”

Bella Hadid wears Tom Ford
Bella Hadid wears Tom Ford. {Photograph}: Courtesy of Bella Hadid Instagram

Ford, the elected chair of the Council of Fashion Designers of America and maybe, the world’s chicest environmentalist, welcomes the decision for the posh world to reduce its affect on the planet. He began by doing his bit at residence. “I switched to aluminium straws, removed single-use plastic,” he says. In 2017, Ford introduced he was a vegan. “I actually don’t want to meat,” he says, and credit the Netflix documentary What the Well being for inspiring the change in weight loss plan.

He’s making use of the identical mindset to his enterprise – Ford’s label turns over $2bn (£1.48bn) a yr, whereas Tom Ford Magnificence turns over $1bn – paying consideration to particulars corresponding to packaging and staff’ rights. “Individuals are effectively sorted,” he says.

In Ford’s thoughts, true luxurious trend is sustainable by its nature. He tells me that he lately paid $90,000 for a gown he designed throughout his tenure at Yves Saint Laurent to add to his archive. “The clothes we make are not meant to be thrown away,” he says.

Ford appears to be fascinated and repulsed by the digitalisation of trend.

“The way forward for trend is more and more cartoonish,” he says. “Instagram has damaged down the principles. Individuals gown up to take footage of themselves to put up on-line, all the pieces is exaggerated – particularly the eyebrows.”

He lately watched Fake Famous, the HBO documentary about influencers, and located the revelation that Instagram customers have been utilizing bathroom seats to give the phantasm of being on a airplane “fully hysterical”.

Can we count on to see an airport selfie of him quickly? “By no means!” he says. “I’m very non-public.”

You possibly can rely on Ford to hold it elegant.

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