The latest issue of the UK’s Grazia Magazine features an interview with our very own Tom Ford. The designer opened up to Style Director Paula Reed about everything from perfectionism to midlife crisisis to his weakness for carbs.
Although I haven’t been able to get my hands on the magazine itself (can someone send me a copy, pretty please?) a portion of the interview which didn’t make the magazine article has made its way online.
While discussing his first womenswear collection, now available for the first time in London (exclusively at Harrods), Ford shares that the only pieces that make the final collection are the ones he loves. He goes on to discuss the extremely regimented life of a fashion designer and likens it to being institutionalized.
“This is such a regimented life. We all know what we are doing every week of every year because we make a product that has to be delivered along strict schedules.” [Reed reminds] him of how, in John Galliano’s last interview with WWD before the scandal, he knew where he was going to be every second of every day for the next two years. “Poor John. What a sad story that is. But yes. In a way we are institutionalised.”
He also briefly touches on the loss of Alexander McQueen:
“… if you had written him as a character in a novel, the end would almost inevitably have been the same. He came to a dinner with me a few weeks before he died. He looked so sharp and fantastic. Of course, I look at the picture that was taken of us together and think I see a sadness in his eyes that I didn’t notice at the time. But that, of course, is hindsight.”
These tidbits echo much of what he said during an interview with Time Out Hong Kong in June:
“I know John, I like John a lot. Obviously he’s very troubled. I feel very sorry for him. Historically, Yves Saint Laurent had drug problems. A lot of different fashion designers had drugs and alcohol problems. It’s a very tough, tough, tough business. You have to be very strong.“
On McQueen and the pressures of the fashion industry:
“I brought Alexander McQueen to Gucci group and I loved him and he’s a true, true artist. I do understand that pressure, because I used to have it at Gucci. You work for a large company like that and it’s three billion dollars a year in business. And if you do a bad collection, the company’s sale drops dramatically. And the other thing is that everyone who works for that company gets their pride from feeling proud of the products that are created. If you have a bad collection and it’s reviewed badly and it’s not selling the [softens voice] pride and the whole company drops and you feel responsible for it.
With the work at Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent I couldn’t have gone on much longer because I was designing 16 collections a year and I was the vice chairman of the company and was working in the acquisitions committee, bringing in Stella McCartney and buying all these different brands and designing collections. There was enormous pressure and you have to be very strong. And you become isolated. Even though I really helped build Gucci from nothing to where it was, well, as that happened you become isolated because you’re like a racehorse. People just say: ‘Keep ‘em happy! Keep ‘em happy!’ because they want you to keep working. They want to get more out of you. You need to perform, perform, perform.”
So how does Ford keep himself grounded? One way is by escaping to the countryside. “I can’t live in NY,” he told Reed. “I have to be able to see the horizon. That’s why I love LA, because even though it’s a city it feels like the country.”
To read more of the Grazia Magazine interview click here.
To read the Time Out Hong Kong interview click here.