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05-09-2013
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05-09-2013
  122
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Quote:
The Return of Tom Ford
After he left Gucci Group, the designer began building a new brand under his own name. Now, as his global fashion empire is hitting its stride, Ford—photographed below with model Joan Smalls—takes on his next big role: fatherhood

"WHAT DAY IS your sock?" Tom Ford asks.

It is approaching late afternoon in Ford's high-ceilinged London office, and I am sitting across a sleek table from the 52-year-old designer who, as always, is immaculately dressed—Tom Ford suit, Tom Ford tie, a gold Tom Ford collar bar gleaming—his own flawless vision of masculine style.

What day is my sock? I'm confused by Ford's question.

"Is this the right day?" Ford asks.

Oh, dear. Not the socks. Great care—or at least my version of great care—has gone into my wardrobe today, given that I've come to see Tom Ford, a man who, through his creativity and energy at Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent and now his own eponymous label, helped originate and define a quarter-century of men's and women's style. Ford not only created a Tom Ford look but personified it, becoming a face in front of the label: rakish, confident, a celebrity of luxury, to the point that Jay-Z would release a track this summer entitled, simply, "Tom Ford." I wasn't about to get my schlumpy self into a fashion face-off with Ford, but I also didn't want to be a total shambles. A solid hour was spent primping—roughly 59 minutes longer than my usual primp—back at the hotel. A cotton navy suit, crumpled by a seven-hour flight, was rushed off for a last-minute press. I brought my best shirt. The good tie.

But the socks—I'd packed only one pair. They were a silly Christmas present, several years old: black socks sewn with the days of the week at the top—Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, etc. I pulled them on with a feeling of dread, hoping Ford wouldn't notice. Foolish. Details are what Ford does, perhaps as well as any fashion designer ever has—the way a dress caresses the curve of a woman's neck, the way a fine suit settles crisply on a man's shoulders, imbuing him with a sense of impenetrability, like armor. Of course Ford is going to notice the day of the week written on a goofy old sock.

The sock reads Thursday. It's Wednesday.

"You're in Tokyo," he says helpfully. "It's Thursday in Tokyo."

Ford says this in a sly, observant way. Not a put-down. Condescending is not his style. One of the first things people notice about Ford in person is his politeness—what his friend, the actress Rita Wilson, calls his "extremely good manners"; the way a simple act like a handshake or opening a door becomes a suave, elegant gesture, a throwback to another era. Little things, perhaps, but little things matter in the world of Tom Ford, a man of refinement and control, always dressed as if he's about to be photographed, even when he doesn't want to be photographed. Artist Lisa Eisner recalls picking Ford up to go to the movies in Los Angeles and finding him dressed in one of his suits. "He is not going to wear cargo shorts," Eisner says. "He is always going to look impeccable, no matter where you catch him."

NOW FORD IS BACK. Is "back" even the right word? It sounds a bit ridiculous, because Ford never really went away, dropped out, grew a Lebowski beard—his biggest professional detour was making a film in Los Angeles, hardly a cabin in the woods—but there is the unmistakable sense that his second act in fashion, modestly relaunched in the mid-2000s, is only hitting full steam now. Domenico De Sole, Ford's business partner since their Gucci days, says the designer is fond of calling his line the "first true luxury brand of the 21st century." There are 81 stores globally—two new flagships just opened in Chicago and Dallas—with dozens more to come. Earlier this year, Ford debuted a womenswear collection with a major show at London Fashion Week, his first full-on runway show for women in nearly 10 years. That's a Tom Ford tuxedo on Justin Timberlake, above-the-knee Tom Ford boots on Rihanna, a streamlined Tom Ford suit on 007 himself, Daniel Craig. And this fall he's launching a line of men's grooming products. After removing himself from the game almost a decade ago, he has returned to the vortex, with its long hours and abundant critical and commercial pressures. But now it is his name alone, in striking Gotham book font. His vision, no exceptions.

"I'm at a point in my life where I want to make the very best," Ford says matter-of-factly. "That's what interests me. If it's not the best, I don't want to make it."

By now the basics of Ford's fashion biography are industry legend: the Texas-born, Santa Fe, New Mexico–raised former actor who willed himself into the trade in the '80s as an apprentice under designer Cathy Hardwick, then on to Perry Ellis, then to Gucci in 1990, where the young unknown Ford transformed a foundering brand into a global luxury powerhouse. Gucci under Ford was lavishly fun, expertly designed and marketed, just the right amount of edgy and dangerous—a perfect match for the go-go economy of its time.

Then, in 2004, amid a struggle for control with the company's new owners, Ford walked away. Suddenly. Completely. He decamped to L.A., bought golf clubs. "I thought I was going to retire," Ford says. "Fantasy. It was just exhaustion and burnout." A year later, Ford dipped into eyewear, fragrances and cosmetics (licensing his name to the Marcolin Group and Estée Lauder), but purposely kept it limited to that. "At that moment in time, I wasn't sure I was really going to do anything more," he says.

The movies beckoned, as many expected. Ford's 2009 directorial debut, A Single Man, was a handsome jewel box of a film, based on a novel by Christopher Isherwood about a day in the life of a college professor undone by the death of his boyfriend. Starring Colin Firth in the title role, the film was the sort of lush visual feast one might expect from Ford, but it was also praised for its soulful rendering of an early '60s gay relationship. Ford jokes that it was only after A Single Man was deemed a success—the film was critically acclaimed; Firth got an Oscar nomination—that he heard from people who'd been skeptical about his movie aspirations. "I didn't know they all thought I was crazy," he says, amused. "No one says anything negative to each other in Hollywood. I find that funny. There's a saying: 'You can be nice'd to death.' And it's true."
online.wsj.com

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05-09-2013
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Quote:
There would always be the movies: Ford has optioned a couple of books and written a script. But fashion remained out there, looming. Before A Single Man, Ford had ventured into menswear, where he cut against the grain of super-skinny minimalism with rich wide-lapeled suits—an assertive counterstatement. Womenswear arrived in 2010, with a small, private show where Ford's pals, like Wilson, Eisner and Beyoncé, served as models. But there have been challenges, expected and unexpected. Tom Ford launched its flagship in New York just before the financial crisis struck—and De Sole acknowledges that 2008, 2009 and part of 2010 were unsettling times. "It certainly has been more difficult than we thought," he says. "It was very, very difficult for all luxury brands."

De Sole says the privately held company is now "on course." Ford speaks of a "tipping point," and is not meek about his strategy. He sees Tom Ford as a potentially global-dominant brand, the pinnacle of luxury appealing to a customer for whom money is seldom an object and peerless service is an expectation. The prices can be startling—suits ranging from $3,730 to $7,060, or $3,890 for a pair of crystal-embellished pumps—but there are plenty of loyal buyers willing to spend, he says. "We have customers—a lot of them—who spend more than a million dollars a year with us because they come in and just order: suit, suit, suit, suit, suit, suit," he says, snapping his fingers. Karen Katz, the CEO and president of Neiman Marcus, says that customers buying Tom Ford "tend to be people who are strong. They're confident. They're powerful. And I think buying the products just helps them with all that—being even more confident and stronger."

Ford has always prided himself as a commercial designer, aware of the market, not trying to isolate himself from the business of selling clothes. De Sole, who was on the verge of retirement when Ford lured him back, says Ford wants to know the bottom line. "There's always some sense that all designers tend to live in their own creative universe," De Sole says. "Tom can read a financial statement. He understands the practical aspect of the business. That's very important."

But the return of a designer like Ford also represents the return of a mood. No minimalist, Ford is not afraid of a little showbiz and razzle-dazzle, the kind of exaggerated playfulness that fashion sometimes lacks. There's a bravado—a largeness of life Jay-Z is referring to when he raps "I rock Tom Ford"—and a sense of humor about its vanity. Everything gets a little bigger. Bolder. Fun. Vogue Editor in Chief Anna Wintour, praising Ford for showing at London Fashion Week this spring, says "fashion needs designers like him—rock stars who give you a fabulous, no-holds-barred spectacle."

Of course, part of the Tom Ford experience is also Ford himself, the one the public knows from snapshots at fabulous parties—that dashing, louche-looking character who's always ready to find mischief at 2 a.m. The Ford on the red carpet is often a bit of theater, a dramatic rendering the designer acknowledges is a bit of a production—not necessarily fake, just a heightened reality. Ford says he gave up drinking four and a half years ago—"alcohol was getting in the way of my life, so I simply stopped," he says. He describes himself as a homebody. Says Ford's partner of 26 years, the fashion journalist Richard Buckley, who lives with the designer in South Kensington, London: "If he had his choice, we would never ever leave this house."

"I'm an absolute introvert," says Ford. "I do not like parties larger than eight close friends. I'm quite the loner. What I do publicly is a performance. It's part of my job, and I'm good at it."

These days, there's the best reason to stay at home. Ford and Buckley have welcomed a son, Alexander John Buckley Ford, nicknamed Jack, who was born via surrogate in Los Angeles last September. Now there are feedings, onesies, diapers and all the beautiful madness of parenthood, with some bespoke Ford touches. "Tom being Tom, all the clothes are folded in a drawer a certain way," Buckley says. "He's a 100 percent hands-on dad. He gets up at six every morning, gives Jack his bottle, changes him, washes him, plays with him, gets him dressed for the day."

"I didn't quite know what to expect," Ford says of Jack's arrival. "I remember the day before he was born, I was up at like 5 a.m., frantically going to the supermarket in L.A. making sure I had miniature versions of sanitary hand wipes for his diaper bag. I didn't know what the other side of that cliff was like."

It is the cliché of clichés to say that parenthood changes everyone, but Ford says it's true in his case, too. "Spending time with [Jack] is meditative," he says. "You forget about everything. You forget about yourself.

"I view the future differently," he says. "You see yourself as a link in the chain as opposed to some sort of isolated link. I see my grandparents, great grandparents, great-great grandparents. I've continued the chain."

Of course, the arrival of a child is an often dramatic life adjustment, accompanied by an inevitable surrender of control. Babies do not adjust their schedules around your meetings or upcoming shows. Babies have different agendas and priorities. This means keeping it loose. This means flexibility. This means change in the life of Ford.

"Spontaneity was not a word in his vocabulary until now," says Eisner. "You can't go, 'Okay, listen baby, you're going to be on this schedule, and you're going to do all this.' You can try, but that rug is going to be pulled out from under you all the time." It's a familiar parental experience. The loss of control can be unsettling, but also inspiring—a chance to live in a world that's become a little harder to predict. "I think Tom really wanted that," Eisner says. "Secretly, deep down, I think he sort of likes it."

SITTING HERE, in this office just so, with the flowers just so and the temperature perfectly controlled, Ford says he is happy. "I'm generally happier than I've ever been," Ford says. "I'm really happy when I see my son in the morning. I'm also happy to walk in here to my office and see everyone working. I'm happy to have certain meetings. Then I'm not happy to have other ones."

When I ask Ford if he is the man he thought he would be at his age, more than a half-century in, he says he is, and then goes on to joke about back pain and feeling wistful "for the texture of my skin when I was 28—stretched across my tight stomach." He admits that some youth culture puzzles him. Tom Ford the company may be expanding online, but Tom Ford the man has no current plans to be on Twitter. "I'm walking out of a restaurant right now, and I just got gum on my shoe," Ford says, imagining a fake tweet. "It's amazing."

He sees the humor of it all, how he left this business once before and is now back in it, working as much as ever, in a volatile economy, with all its attendant criticisms, pettiness, insanity and risk-taking—a man who escaped the craziness, now grabbing a ladder and climbing back in. This time Ford is in charge of his own destiny, but it's still challenging, not without headaches and fear. "It's harder," Ford says. "There's more at stake."

But he likes it. This, too, makes him happy. A half-century in, Ford knows what drives him. "There's an adrenaline," Ford says. "I'm somebody who likes to jump through hoops. I realized that. I like to jump through hoops."

What about a hoop on fire?

"Has to be lit on fire," Ford says. "Absolutely. And then I want the hoop to get skinnier and narrower, to see if I can still jump through it."
online.wsj.com

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29-10-2013
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Quote:
Clothes alone don't make the man. Skin and hair are just as important. Which is why Tom and his team of luxe whizzes have created a new line of top-shelf grooming products, out this month. But before you rush to the store, memorize Ford's master grooming guidelines.

10. "No need for deodorant. I like the way sweat smells. It's sexy."
9. "I don't eat onions or garlic. Ever. Fresh breath is important."
8. "But never chew gum in public."
7. "Get a pedicure."
6. "Use cold packets to get rid of eye puffiness."
5. "Like white teeth, white eyes matter. Use Visine."
4. "Want girls to let you put your fingers in certain places? Get a manicure."
3. "Even with a soft jaw, when you trim your beard well, you'll look sharp and chiseled."
2. "Spray cologne all over."
1. "I personally hate shaved genitals, but ask your partner what he or she prefers."

See these Commandments, and a whole lot of style, in action in our Project Upgrade: Tom Ford Edition
gq.com

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01-11-2013
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Quote:
Designer Tom Ford and Rita Wilson attend the European premiere of 'Captain Phillips' on the opening night of the 57th BFI London Film Festival at Odeon Leicester Square on October 9, 2013 in London, England. (October 8, 2013 - Source: Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images Europe)

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01-11-2013
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Those trousers are absolutely heinous!

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17-12-2013
  127
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I love these little guides that Tom did for this series in GQ and even I have picked up a few things I need to achieve in my wardrobe after watching them.
















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A few times in my life I've had moments of clarity where the silence drowns out the noise and I can feel rather than think. - Tom Ford
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17-12-2013
  128
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apparently he has an Interview for Vogue Voices wich is Vogue US - Tablet Exclusive:

"The Designer and Director talks about his teen acting days, beeing typecast in Fashion, and what it was like to return to Womenswear."

i always ♥ to hear him, it's a 9:38min interview and he's gorgeous as ever


Last edited by Mat Cyruss; 17-12-2013 at 05:18 PM.
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10-01-2014
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23-01-2014
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27-02-2014
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03-03-2014
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Numéro Russia March 2014



ТРОПОЮ ГРОМА (PATH OF THUNDER)
Photographer: Tom Ford
Stylist: André Leon Talley
Hair: Eamonn Hughes
Make-up: Gemma Smith-Edhouse
Model: Pat Cleveland, Conrad Bloomfield



Numéro Russia 03/2014 Digital Edition

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03-03-2014
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Numéro Russia 03/2014 Digital Edition

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08-04-2014
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Quote:
Tom Ford marries partner Richard Buckley
The designer revealed he has married his partner of 27 years during an 'in conversation' session in London last night


Tom Ford revealed the happy news during an 'in conversation' session with Lady Kinvara Balfour at Regent Street Apple Store last night.

"We are now married, which is nice," he said, proudly showing the audience his wedding ring. "I know that was just made legal in the UK which is great, but we were married in the States," he added, after explaining that he has been in a relationship with Buckley for 27 years.

The couple welcomed their first child, a son named Alexander 'Jack' John Buckley Ford, in 2012. They live in London, where Ford's eponymous label is based.

The Texas-born designer also spoke of his brief dalliance with the world of acting after dropping out of New York University, but admitted that he wasn't a natural, despite securing a few adverts. He then went back to study, enrolling at Parsons The New School for Design, where he studied architecture.

Surprisingly, the 52-year-old admitted that Jay-Z's recent rap ode to him was dynamite for his brand. "If you're in the business of a brand it's one of the best things that could happen to you," he said, adding that hearing 60,000 people scream his name at a Jay-Z concert "freaks me out."
"I want to crawl under a rock because I'm actually very, very, very shy and no one ever believes this! I really am very shy," he said.

He also touched in the intern debate - he interned at Chloe in Paris while at university - saying that he believes it's the best way to learn.

"I think this is the problem today, people come out of school and think they should immediately be a star. In this world of course you can make a sex video and you can become a star. But I think everyone should be an intern - you should sweep floors, you should pick up pins. You should run errands because you learn so much."

He left the audience with some simple style advice: "Never ever wear anything you are remotely uncomfortable in. Because that is what you'll project: 'I look like a fool.'"

"I don't mean physical comfort, I don't mind suffering a little bit," he clarified, before adding that his own trousers were feeling a little too tight as he's been indulging in his favourite treat: Percy Pigs.
Telegraph.co.uk

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21-04-2014
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This is also available to download from iTunes.


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