New website Tom Ford

Finally, Tom Ford launched his first website, which features evocative images of his eyewear, as well as information on his new fragrance, Tom Ford Black Orchid, and the impending launch of his men’s wear collection, now slated for April 2007.

BR>Produced by Web designers Create the Group, the site is done in Ford’s signature tones of brown and black and will be rolled out in multiple stages. The Web site,, will eventually house an online Tom Ford boutique. (source:

This webiste was created by the webdesign company They also made other fashion websites like the websites of Stella McCartney, Gucci, David Yurman, Estee Lauder, Burberry, Vogue Magazine and many many more.


Tom Ford said:


One of the judges of that award, the designer Tom Ford, said after the presentation: “This, for me, is really one of the most creative cities in the world, so I think that another creative voice is only good for London Fashion Week.”

Source: in Armani’s stars leave London in the shade of

City Hall hosts contest

Tom Ford is a man who can bring glamour to the most unlikely of settings. The Hollywood mogul and superstar designer (once of Gucci and YSL) spent much of yesterday at City Hall, the headquarters of the Greater London Authority, near Tower Bridge. The Los Angeles-based Ford was in London to judge the final of the fashion fringe event, a competition for emerging talent which forms part of London fashion week.

The glass-roofed chamber, more used to hosting debates about the congestion charge, formed the catwalk area. Ford gave the venue his seal of approval: “It’s super-slick,” he said. Guests were welcomed to their seats with a note from Ken Livingstone, the mayor, saying: “London is a world-class cultural capital. The city is well known as a centre for fashion, film and design.”

In this respect, Ford was in full agreement with London’s mayor. Wearing an impeccable slate grey suit and carrying his trademark sunglasses, he explained his fondness for London. “I love London. I’ve had so many great design assistants from here. That’s why I feel the need to encourage young British talent – some of the strongest designers in the world are British.” Asked what it was about London that meant it was such a breeding ground for new talent, he said: “I think it’s the culture – there’s a freedom of expression here that I don’t find anywhere else in the world.”

Sweltering in the front row of the show sat a who’s who of fashion designers on hand to lend their support to the event. Phoebe Philo (formerly of Chloe), Roland Mouret, Zandra Rhodes and even Harrods heiress (and designer) Camilla Al Fayed waited patiently for the much-delayed show to start.

Ford is legendary among designers. At Gucci he invented the concept of mass luxury and rejuvenated the then struggling label. When asked whether he considered himself a role model to young designers, he said: “I guess so, but I think a lot of designers would like to be the opposite of me because I represent big corporate success. I never think of myself as a role model but then I notice people sometimes tremble when they talk to me.”

Gavin Douglas, who has recently set up his own label with the assistance of the Prince’s Trust, was the delighted winner. Currently exhibiting at the Black British Style Exhibition in Birmingham, he showed a capsule collection entitled Black Victorians, which nodded to his roots in Jamaica. Douglas received £100,000, free legal, technical and business support, and development grants from the Centre for Fashion Enterprise at the London College of Fashion. His collection will also be sold by

By: Imogen Fox


Armani, Tom Ford Challenge Savile Row With $20K Suits

Giorgio Armani, Jil Sander and Tom Ford are introducing fully hand-stitched, custom-made suits costing as much as $20,000 in a challenge to London’s renowned center of the bespoke. The target is a gent like George Clooney instead of Prince Charles.

Armani, Jil Sander and Ford hope to cater to richer clients in traditional markets and new wealth in emerging markets such as Russia, India and China. They are upping the ante with Savile Row by offering more hand-stitching, nontraditional styles and that other cachet: even loftier price tags.

“There’s a lot of pent-up demand for true luxury in many of these emerging, peacock-male societies,” Ford says. “The men are getting rich first, and they want to deck themselves out before they deck out their wives.”

Customers can order Armani’s “Fatto a Mano,” or “made- by-hand,” service starting today. “Jil Sander Sartorial” will be available in November and is conceived by Raf Simons, a Belgian designer who says he creates for “confident outsiders.” Tom Ford’s line will appear next spring at his first store, which will be on Madison Avenue in Manhattan. Delivery of the finished suit can take as little as three weeks for a Jil Sander. Prices range from $2,500 to $20,000.

`Rich and Demanding’

“There is a male customer out there who is rich and demanding and who doesn’t want a traditionally tailored suit or a Harris tweed,” Armani says in a telephone interview from his Milan headquarters. “We have the people, the know-how and the structure to give him what he wants.”

Several design houses, including Giorgio Armani SpA and Burberry Plc, have offered made-to-measure men’s lines that allow customers to choose fabrics and suit styles from a limited selection, but production is at least partly in factories. The custom services being introduced by Armani, Jil Sander and Ford represent a new concept for the labels, promising fully hand- stitched production as well as personal attention available only in the designers’ top stores.

“More men are buying made-to-measure, so now the bar is being raised,” said Michael Macko, men’s fashion director for Saks Fifth Avenue. “It has to be more exclusive, more lux. A lot of it is one-upmanship.”

Lots of Labels

Detail and distinctive elements are big selling points. Armani offers to stitch a securing bar under the left lapel for a boutonniere. His labels will say “Giorgio Armani for (your name here).” Jil Sander has added a tuxedo with silk satin lapels and one-button fastening. Jil Sander also says, in a boast that might mystify some, that each of its suits will flaunt three separate labels, one of which will bear the suit owner’s name.

Jil Sander AG’s chief executive officer, Gian Giacomo Ferraris, predicted the service will boost the Hamburg-based company’s men’s wear sales, which came to $27 million in the year ending January 2005, by 15 percent in two years.

Armani already has delivered “Fatto a Mano” suits to Clooney for his new movie, “Ocean’s 13,” and to R&B star Usher for “Chicago” on Broadway, said Armani spokesman Robert Triefus.

The designer’s $20,000 versions will be made with lightweight wools — Super 180s and Super 200s — spokeswoman Gabriela Meriles says. The latter are even finer than cashmere, Armani said in a statement.

Months in the Making

Up to now, men looking for luxury suiting have turned to Italian makers like Brioni Roman Style SpA and Ermenegildo Zegna SpA, as well as Savile Row, for suits costing $2,000 to $6,000.

Savile Row bespoke suits start at about $3,800 and take two to three months to make. They are made to last a lifetime, with very big “inlays” in case clients get broader.

“My made-to-measure will be more traditional than what I was doing for Gucci,” says Ford (who designed for the brand from 1990 to 2004), in a telephone interview from New York, “but it won’t be old English style.”

Taking up that gauntlet, Mark Henderson, chief executive of Gieves & Hawkes, says: “There is really absolutely nothing that a designer can offer that can’t be done on Savile Row.” His establishment made uniforms for Lord Nelson and the Duke of Wellington. Savile Row tailor Tommy Nutter dressed the Beatles. Gucci Group designer Alexander McQueen trained there, and Ford himself has bought Savile Row suits, Henderson said.

`Off the Peg’

Henderson says Savile Row, which already makes about 10,000 bespoke suits annually, is seeing an increase in orders. It also sells customized suits made in a factory and standard factory- made suits sold “off the peg.”

A trade group called Savile Row Bespoke, formed two years ago, has grown to 12 members. To define more clearly what constitutes a Savile Row bespoke suit, it is writing a code based on rules compiled by France’s Federation de la Couture.

The code-in-progress dictates that only suits that are fully hand-made, that take at least 60 hours to make during a period of six to eight weeks and that are made within 100 yards of Savile Row rate as bespoke.

Armani has a code, too. He says a bespoke suit needs to embody at least 10 of 19 recognized characteristics, including “cross-stitch tacking on the welts of front pockets.”

And his will have all 19, the designer says.

By Cotten Timberlake and Sara Gay Forden


Fresh talent for LFW

tom_ford_six_sevens.jpgWhatever anyone says about Paris, Milan and New York, we believe London is the true spiritual home of edgy, experimental and innovative fashion and September’s Fashion Week looks set to be a feast of emerging design talent.

Fashion East – the showcase event which provides a platform for designers looking to establish themselves – is back with two new names. While partners Meadham and Kirchoff will show their second FE collection, knitwear designer and CSM MA graduate Louise Goldin will make her catwalk debut (last season Louise had an exhibition stand sponsored by New Generation) along with fellow CSM MA grad, Danielle Scutt.

The organisers of London Fashion Week are introducing, for the first time ever, an exhibition area dedicated to labels which adhere to an ethical code. Called Esthetica, the space within the main LFW exhibition is only open to brands which recycle, “produce in a safe and social environment,” and meet with standards for “organic production.” The new initiative is co-curated by the From Somewhere label and confirmed exhibitors include Edun – – founded in 2005 by Bono, his missus Ali Hewson and New York designer Rogan Gregory.

In 2004 fuk was tipped Basso and Brooke to win the first ever Fashion Fringe competition, last year we didn’t make a prediction and Erdem won, but in 2006 our money is on the duo Six and Seven-Eighths to beat Gavin Douglas, Antonio Santana and Stephen Harper to scoop this year’s prize worth £100k. Six and Seven-Eighths is a partnership between fine artist David Wojtowycz and king of digital printing, Antonio Ciutto. “We are focusing on technique, pattern-cutting and research,” Antonio told us. “During my residency at the V&A earlier this year, I got the opportunity to really look at technique and that’s what we’ve explored.” All the Fringe Finalists are currently producing their collections at a London College of Fashion studio in East London and last week met up with the competition’s honorary Chair, Tom Ford.

There’s been quite a lot of industry banter about Christopher Kane, another Central Saint Martin’s grad who is set to have his LFW catwalk debut in September. Versace has been channelling his talents following his MA show, but we at fuk aren’t so enamoured – just one look at his horrific use of fur had us retching – New Generation or fashion fossil? Make your own minds up.

[Photo credit: Richard Young]