Archive for mei, 2007

If You’ve Wondered About Tom Ford’s Penis…

woensdag, mei 30th, 2007

Tom Ford with black tux and white flowerYou are not alone. The designer, who is labeled as the “the straightest gay man alive,” has no fear about his twig and berries. New York mag delves into the talent of former Gucci guru. His notoriety surrounds female empowerment and releasing that inner dominatrix. As he branches out into the male form and launches a fleet of menswear stores, he insists his sexual appeal is still there. Despite the rumors of a toupee and lifts hidden in his shoes, he brands himself as a walking product. He draws attention to his “endowments” and feels that if you got it flaunt it.

“I don’t know, I’m not sure,” he says in his flirty baritone, accented by a macho Texas twang. “Why shouldn’t women have sex for enjoyment? Why should showing off be a bad thing?” He throws one hand in the air, snarls, and reaches down to grab it. “Men have been very crude for a long time–I mean, you walk down the street and guys scream, ‘Hey, baby!'”

Oh how droll.

Tom makes scents

vrijdag, mei 25th, 2007

Private Blend“CAN you interview me from the left? I have a better side – I’m a very vain man,” joked Tom Ford to VogueTV during the launch of his Private Blend perfume at Harvey Nichols last night. 12 individual and unusual scents, including vanilla tobacco and Tuscan leather, are being sold in old-fashioned apothecary-style bottles and can be mixed together according to one’s own personal taste. “The concept behind this is similar to that behind my new menswear line. I want to create extremely unique and exclusive products, unlike some of my previous projects,” he smiled, referring to his time at Gucci, when making the brand accessible to all by selling everything from a £50 keyring to a £10,000 dress – was his main focus. With stunning displays of Ford’s new fragrances filling up each of Harvey Nichols’ 11 windows, the immaculate designer’s latest venture is as aesthetically pleasing as his loyal customers would expect. But what about a womenswear collection – when will we finally be put out of our misery? “It is on the cards. I can’t promise when, but I can promise I’m thinking about it.”

Source:  Vogue.co.uk

Ford Unveils Fragrances at Harvey Nichols

vrijdag, mei 25th, 2007

Private Blend launch and Tom FordLONDON — Tom Ford gave his signature a workout during a personal appearance at Harvey Nichols here Thursday to fete the launch of his Private Blend fragrance collection.

Source: wwd.com By Brid Costello

Tom Ford’s Vino Vision

donderdag, mei 24th, 2007

Tom Ford, Marta Steward and pralinesDesigner talks pralines, tractor paint, & bottle ambitions with Martha Stewart

(NEW YORK) “I think I identify with her in a certain way because she’s a perfectionist,” said Tom Ford of his hostess on The Martha Stewart Show Tuesday, where the queen of domesticity and the man who reinvented sex chatted, joked, and made pecan pralines from an old recipe of his grandmother’s.

“It’s funny because as we were about to go on, I told her I liked her shoes and she said they were Christian Louboutins,” he said backstage afterward. “She said she painted the soles from red to black and I said thank God! I’m so tired of getting teased about painting my tractors black! And she said, ‘Well, I paint all mine grey.’”

On stage, Ford, clad in a black suit with trademark unbuttoned shirt and white pocket square, traded quips with Stewart, who donned her favorite Hermès cardigan and button-down, Ralph Lauren jeans, and said Louboutins. The two played up the banter for the audience and Stewart showed a photo of Brad Pitt wearing Ford’s tuxedo at the Cannes Film Festival Monday night. “Maybe you could get David Letterman to stop wearing double breasted and wear this,” she suggested as Ford later presented four looks from his men’s collection in an informal fashion show. “I miss my Gucci suits that Tom made.”

Ford was part of an hour-long show that also included a Fourth of July special, a recognition of Fleet Week, and tips for storm safety. But it was the dashing designer that had the audience of nearly all women captivated. “I want to see the underwear!” one woman from Long Island squealed. “I like the outfit,” whispered a 20-something during the introduction. “The open shirt is nice.”

“As a kid I was always partial to things I could decorate,” said Ford in between mixing butter and cream. “I can cook for myself, but like most men, I’m really great on the grill. I have a grill in London and Los Angeles. I’m trying to avoid Santa Fe right now, though.” Ford also alluded to the possibility that he may create and distribute wine. “I have a vineyard, and we will be making wine,” he said. “I’ve been doing it for about three years now.”

Ford’s onstage charisma seemed to rub off not just on the female audience, but the cameramen and stage handlers, who were observed pressing wrinkles out of their shirts and making quick outfit adjustments. “I once deejayed a fashion show for Dolce & Gabbana,” a camera supervisor boasted during a commercial break.

Guests, perhaps as a figurative example of the melding of creative cultures, left the taping with a glossy black Tom Ford gift bag that included a bottle of Black Orchid alongside creations from Stewart’s signature line and an arts-and-crafts hole puncher.

“What I’m talking about—men dressing up and cleaning up—isn’t anything you have to buy clothes for,” Ford explained. “You just make the effort and have your boyfriend or husband put on a jacket when you go out to dinner. That message is something I’d love to see become much broader, so why not present it to this audience?”

Did Ford think there was a viable market for his men’s wear designs in, say, the Midwest?

“Well, there’s fragrance and eyewear for St. Louis and Kansas City, isn’t there?”

JIM SHI

Tom Ford’s Pecan Pralines

INGREDIENTS (Makes about 2 dozen)

2 cups sugar

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup light cream

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

2 cups pecan halves

DIRECTIONS

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. In a 3-quart saucepan, mix together sugar and baking soda. Add cream and place over medium-high heat. Cook, whisking occasionally, until golden brown and mixture reaches 235 degrees on a candy thermometer, 25 to 30 minutes. Add butter and pecans and mix together until butter has melted and mixture is well combined, about 1 minute. Using a tablespoon, drop mixture onto prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart; let cool completely. Store in an airtight container up to 3 days.

Source: Fashionweekdaily.com

Night changed Ford’s life

woensdag, mei 23rd, 2007

Andy WarholHave hope, lonely NYU students – self-proclaimed “sex god” Tom Ford used to be a friendless freshman until a dorm mate knocked on his door and changed his life. In a profile of Ford in New York magazine, the designer told Vanessa Grigoriadis, “One night, I was sitting in my dorm at Weinstein dormitory, thinking, ‘God, please let someone knock on the door,’ because I was so lonely . . . Then this nice guy from my art history class in this cute little blazer came in and asked if I wanted to go to a party. Andy Warhol was at the party, and he took us to Studio 54 – wow.” No wonder the ex-Gucci designer, who just opened his Madison Avenue store, admits, “I still like looking at naked people, even if I don’t quite look the way I used to without my clothes on.” Now, many years past his college days, Ford, 44, told New York, “I don’t care about being the cool kid anymore – I’m so over that. I’m getting too old to care about sex anyway.” Does that mean the notoriously brief-free fashionista will start wearing underwear?

Source: Nypost.com

Tom Ford After Sex

dinsdag, mei 22nd, 2007

marilyn-minter-tomford2.jpgWith a new super-high-end men’s store, the former Gucci designer explores who he is without all that libido to sell.

It’s not every day one gets to see the penis of a sex god. But Tom Ford, among other ostentatiously masculine habits, doesn’t wear underwear. And on a recent afternoon, while we were talking about the ladies who also do not wear underwear—Spears, Lohan, Hilton—Ford is saying that he doesn’t necessarily think they are gauche. “I don’t know, I’m not sure,” he says in his flirty baritone, accented by a macho Texas twang. “Why shouldn’t women have sex for enjoyment? Why should showing off be a bad thing?” He throws one hand in the air, snarls, and reaches down to grab it. “Men have been very crude for a long time—I mean, you walk down the street and guys scream, ‘Hey, baby!’”

One could be embarrassed by looking at Tom Ford’s package if he didn’t draw so much attention to it himself. In the ten years he helmed Gucci, and the four he designed for Yves Saint Laurent, Ford taught American women to become sexual dominants, supplying them the costume of stovepipe trousers and Halston–meets–Elsa Peretti white jersey dresses, as well as leather spankers and sterling-silver handcuffs. Women were personally bewitched by him, the straightest gay man alive: In the way that gay men dream of getting hot straight guys to play on the other team, women are enticed by Ford because his heavy-duty flirting encourages the fantasy that he could fall for you. “I feel,” he says breathily, “that I am keyed into the female consciousness.”

Today, Ford has moved beyond sex professionally, which has been confusing to him in a way. Three years after leaving Gucci, he’s opened a menswear store on Madison Avenue, providing suits, shirts, shoes, perfume, eyewear, and everything else for “all the guys I know, all my friends, who can’t fucking find anything to wear,” he says. “I mean, ‘Hello!’ Okay?” The brand will go global by 2008. “There’s really nowhere in the world that my name isn’t known,” explains Ford, recently returned from a trip to Asia with Sotheby’s, where he was happy to find that young women in Shanghai still recognized him and snapped pictures with camera phones. With a fortune of at least $250 million from his work at Gucci, and his ex-Gucci CEO Domenico De Sole as partner, Ford owns the new company that bears his name. “It made more sense for me to own it,” he says, shrugging. “If you have the money, why pay someone to give you money?”

At 45, Ford is still the only handsome male fashion designer, with perfect stubble, manicured nails, and not an ounce of fat: “When my clothes are getting tight, that’s not a sign to me that I need to go to another size—it’s a reminder that I have to stop eating, or suffer,” he explains. He has been scrutinized for signs of a toupee, Restylane, and lifted shoes. However, the Tom Ford chest hair remains in fine form, a forest of manliness barely concealed by a polo shirt, usually with merely three or four buttons undone.

“I am my own muse,” he says.

It’s a lot to handle being a muse and a brand, especially in a time that isn’t necessarily responsive to your look. Today’s fashion is recycling the eighties, and Ford has always been about the seventies. Resurrecting ’77 in ’97 made sense, since fashion tends to repeat itself every twenty years, but hausfrau trends and disposable H&M styles have little communion with Ford’s view of the world. Plus, in the last couple of years the sex thing started to seem like too much humbuggery, uncool and oily—like Madonna after her sex book, he started to feel like a parody. There was the clamorous cover of Vanity Fair’s “Hollywood” issue, where he was featured nibbling on the ear of a naked Keira Knightley. “Well, I was illustrating, in that photo,” he says. “I don’t know—it’s always nice to have your picture on the cover of Vanity Fair.” He shifts in his seat. “I guess I’m hyper- self-conscious about people thinking that I’m egotistical, but there’s a difference between being egotistical and knowing your value as a product and an actor. I know my value as a product, and I’ve divorced myself as a human from myself as a product.”

As a human, Ford is nervous about almost everything, sleeping only a few hours a night, budgeting every minute of the day. “I’m a Virgo,” he explains. “Virgos tend to make things look easy because we are perfectionists, so people think Oh, there’s not much there, because I’ve made it look easy, but that’s not the case.” Even by the standards of today’s overdesigned world, where urban centers have been taken over by too many stores selling armless chairs, Ford may be the most overdesigned creature alive—this is the guy who had an orange tractor at his property in New Mexico spray-painted black because he couldn’t stand the color, okay?

The son of middle-class real-estate brokers who lived in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and then Texas, Ford grew up entranced with his glamorous grandmother and loving clothes himself, putting his new pairs of shoes on the table beside his bed before he went to sleep at night. He came to the city to attend New York University at 17. “One night, I was sitting in my room at Weinstein dormitory, thinking, God, please let someone knock on the door, because I was so lonely,” he says. “Then this nice guy from my art-history class in this cute little blazer came in, and he asked if I wanted to go to a party. Andy Warhol was at the party, and he took us to Studio 54—wow. Even today, I still start shaking when I hear Donna Summer, because it’s the music of my coming of age. Every party I have, if I’m not careful, I end up putting that music on and whirling some girl around the dance floor.”

Ford has a wicked, awesome sense of humor, but he is fanatical about the way he is presented in the press, drowning reporters in preprepared sound bites. He’s a lot like an actor: He mostly communicates his humor through physical comedy—throwing himself against a banquette in a re-creation of traveling on the Concorde, or doing a masterful impression of President Bush, who he believes should be “impeached for war crimes.” He wishes he did not have to speak at all. “Everybody thinks Tom’s some big press whore, but he’s painfully shy, and it’s hard for him to put on his social face,” says his longtime partner, Richard Buckley. Says Ford, “I wish I could’ve been a rock star, because they don’t have to talk—their music talks for them. Plus they get to sleep all day, do lots of drugs, and have sex with anyone they want.”

Though the metatext of the Tom Ford comeback is that he’s no longer just about sex—he’s about posh!—pretty much the only conversational subject Ford warms to is sex. Suddenly, his demeanor changes, and he assumes the sultry tone of voice of a 976 telephone worker. It’s his fashion-superhero sex costume, and he’s really comfortable in it. There are reveries: “I still like looking at naked people, even if I don’t quite look the way I used to without my clothes on,” he says. “It’s part of our nature, wanting sex; you eat tonight and you think you’re full, but then tomorrow you’re hungry again. Now there’s all this cartoon sex because porn is so widespread—the girl going he he he he and the guy going uh uh uh uh—so boring. Imagine a hundred years ago, when you were just drawn to the person—imagine all the weird sex that happened! They didn’t know what to do, they just did what they liked. Think of how perverted it must’ve been…”

As a brand, Ford thinks he’s the biggest rock star ever. In fact, his own book, Tom Ford, proclaims, “He identified an emerging cultural moment, bottled its essence, and created a commercial sensation that will be studied by sociologists and business analysts for years to come.” The reactions to Ford’s departure from Gucci in 2004 were cast in similarly heightened terms: “A catastrophe,” declared Anna Wintour at the time.

“I went to my house in London at 4 p.m. on the afternoon that I left Gucci and got into bed,” says Ford. “I was super-depressed. I had terrible, terrible nightmares. My life at Gucci was like being married, having two kids, and living in a house you’ve built. Then you come home one day, the door’s locked, and your wife is in there fucking someone else.”

At first, he spent a lot of time playing tennis. He bought fancy golf clubs. He opened an office near Beverly Hills, a sweet thirties suite in the old Geffen Records building. He spent three or four months learning to use the Internet—“I had never used a computer until I left Gucci,” he says. “We just had our system: The assistants would put everything on my desk, and I would circle and scratch and write, and dictate and dictate and dictate.” He pursued a career directing film but found that producers were mostly sending him projects for “the guy who put a G in a girl’s pubic hair.” He started to write screenplays, but sometimes his brain would freeze. He thought about designing a car. He thought about designing a plane.

marilyn-minter-tomford.jpg“Then, I went into analysis for six months, with an analyst who didn’t just listen but really told me what to do, and I learned that I have to create!” he says. “I had a real-life ah-ha epiphany. I knew I wanted to go back into fashion, but I also still want to do a film—I don’t even want to get into it, because everybody will laugh at me and I’m sick of it, but I am really serious about making movies and I will get one made. I hesitate to say when I will come back to womenswear, because it’s such a big job and you’re completely married to it, but I will never retire. I will work until the day I die.” He has the dying part figured out as well: At his 15,000-square-foot compound in New Mexico, where it takes half an hour to drive from the gate to house, and there’s nothing for miles around except empty air, he and Buckley have designed two sarcophagi, their resting place for eternity.

He laughs, a hearty, jovial guffaw.

“Now I have my passion back,” he says.

Ford’s new vision for men is very Ken Barbie on the jet for the weekend for razzle-dazzle business and pleasure in Dubai. The store, which comprises one ready-to-wear floor and a mezzanine of made-to-measure suites, is an Egyptian temple of metrosexuality—gleaming vitrines of diamond-and-onyx cuff links, eyeglasses with 18-karat-gold bridges, monogrammed hand-knitted socks, and a perfumery of Estée Lauder–produced scents. Ford has said that they are supposed to smell like the sweat of a man’s balls. A woman wants a man to smell like a man, he thinks. “You know, when I was young, men were very attracted to me, and teenage girls were attracted to me, but women weren’t, and now women are very attracted to me,” he confides. “So I think that I know what kind of men women want.”

Ford has decided that since customers are here visiting his “house,” they should be waited on in the way he has become accustomed to, and has hired a half-dozen young models dressed as French maids and butlers in gray suits and white gloves. They stand against walls trying to blend in. Two of the younger ones, both with sandy-blond hair, chat in the corner: “I’ve got a wedding this weekend,” one says to the other, smoothing his vest. “Do you think I could wear this?”

With his best Vanna White moves, Ford leads a group of European fashion editors on a tour, gesturing at stacks of shirts, which come in 350 colors, 35 fabrics, ten collars, and two cuffs. He draws his hand over a display of ties, barely skimming them with his pinkie. “A lot of our competitors only do a few ties per season,” says Ford. “We do every type of color, every kind of fabric, every shade of pink and purple, with pocket squares, bow ties, evening scarves, silk scarves, top hats—well, we may not sell so many top hats, but I want the customer to understand that we have that if he needs it.” He spins down the hall. “For evening, we have double-breasted, single-breasted, peak lapel, notch lapel, shawl collar, white dinner jackets, dinner vests, and dressing gowns, which is one fantastic way that a man can be flamboyant. They retail at $3,900, which I think, actually, for all the work that went into it in today’s world, is not crazy.”

Ford’s Scottish butler, who lives with him at his London townhouse and Neutra home in Los Angeles, circles warily with a tumbler of cola.

“Thank you, Angus,” says Ford, eyes fluttering. “I was about to die.”

He moves on to the shoe department; red velvet slippers, and moccasins, loafers, ankle boots, and golf shoes all handmade with Italian leather.

“The shoes, they are like Berluti,” declares a Frenchwoman, handling a pair.

“Well,” says Ford, drawing himself up, “I like to think they’re like Tom Ford.”

The store is partially a replica of Ford’s house in London, with perforated suede walls and beaver-fur carpet, Makassar ebony cases, and dressing-room fixtures from the foundry used by Diego Giacometti. He’s even moved in some of his artwork, like twenties French urns, a Jean Arp sculpture, and a commissioned Claude Lalanne bronze desk.

In the entry foyer, a stainless-steel Lucio Fontana sculpture with a slash down the middle hangs on a gray wall. “Did you see there?” Ford whispers to me. “I thought the men’s store had to be designed around a vagina.”

A spring Sunday on the Upper East Side: schoolgirls with beach towels sauntering down Madison after sunning in Strawberry Fields, pearl-wearing biddies grasping MetroCards at bus stops, sleek men parking mint-colored Vespas at sidewalk planters of saffron crocuses. Everything is clean and orderly. The Carlyle Hotel is quiet, filled with couples from Houston in wide-brimmed hats tucking into booths for an early supper. In a blue velvet suit with a white shirt unbuttoned to a navel-baring level, Ford dashes into the bar from the airport, recently arrived from Los Angeles—the sexiest man in the room. “I looove the Upper East Side,” he says. “It’s so perfect here.”

Ford always stays in the same room at the Carlyle he’s kept for fifteen years, along with Buckley and their two fox terriers. They take good care of him, and that is Ford’s favorite thing, to be coddled. In fact, when he was late for this meeting, no fewer than four waiters and managers approached the table to excuse his absence (“If you need anything, we are here for you,” they declare, backing away). Upon arrival, he basically lies on the banquette—Ford doesn’t sit so much as slither, shimmying his butt down low on his seat, propping himself up with his forearms, and looking out from under long eyelashes with a postcoital stare.

Honestly, he’s a little hurt by some reviews of his new store, and the talk that’s been going on about him among the fashion clique, and I’ve been summoned here for an unexpected meeting. The New York Times sent an undercover reporter who wrote that, among other offenses, Ford’s scowling doorman made him feel like Oprah at Hermès. “It was a nasty article, and I was upset, of course,” says Ford. “Though, honestly, with something like a secret shopper, how do I even know for sure the man came into the store? But I will do better.” He sighs. “Maybe people who have known me as innovating in terms of silhouette or fashion are irritated in a way that I’ve chosen to play a different game, and not their game. We are running a business that’s not for everyone, and I’m not trying to be an asshole, but some people can’t afford it and maybe there is a sort of resentment about that.”

In a way, Ford has disappeared into fashion. Here he is on a jacket’s functioning buttonholes: “The more you learn and are exposed, the more you want them,” he says. “Functioning buttonholes start to stand for something more than buttonholes that don’t.” Just as starched shirts and perfect cuff links have become too fetishized in his mind, the muse and the brand have become a bright shiny object as well. Today, that object may be too ripe, yet the sex salesman still needs to hike up his skirt. It can be exhausting for someone who may not be at his core a sex superhero, but merely a charming man. “I don’t care about being the cool kid anymore—I’m so over that,” he says. “I’m getting too old to care about sex anyway.”

He downs a vodka-and-tonic. “Sometimes,” he says, “I feel that I’ve controlled my image too much, and no one knows who I really am.”

Source: Nymag.com, By Vanessa Grigoriadis

Meet Tom

maandag, mei 21st, 2007

Tom Ford private blendTom Ford will be popping into Harvey Nichols, Knightsbridge, next week to sign bottles of his new fragrance, Private Blend.

Designer Ford has also created installations in all 11 windows across the front of the store, which he will unveil as part of his visit.

The event starts at 5pm.

Ford said: “Private Blend is my own scent laboratory; it’s where I have the ability to create very special, original fragrances that are unconstrained by the conventions of mainstream scent-making. It is designed with the true fragrance connoisseur in mind.”

More details: call 0870 034 6823 or see www.harveynichols.com

Source: Telegraph.co.uk

And then there were four

vrijdag, mei 18th, 2007

Tom FordHAVING announced its 10 semi-finalists on Monday, the Fashion Fringe panel for 2007, including chairman Tom Ford and Christopher Bailey, today revealed the names of the four finalists whose collections will put them head-to-head during London Fashion Week in September: Graeme Armour, Andrea McWha, Degan Agatonovic and double act Maki Aminaka Lofvander and Marcus Wilmont. “We are very pleased with the level of candidates,” said Ford. “So many of them were so balanced, they were technically good and they were very good during the interviews. Fashion Fringe is very good at fostering young British designers. Last year I stepped in at the last minute, just for the show, but it’s great to be involved form the start. I’ve been surprised by the level of talent and it will be nice to follow the four finalists as you know the history. A few of the semi-finalists were too commercial and some thought more about creativity and less commercially. We were looking for a balance of both things. You can’t be a designer if no one is buying your clothes.” Christopher Bailey was equally enthused by the level of talent. “It’s been an amazing day,” he said. “We’ve been here since this morning and the semi-finalists have been incredibly articulate and confident which is surprising as this is a senior, major player panel. It’s scary to come into this room and it has been impressive that they have believed in themselves.”

Source: Vogue.co.uk

Tom Ford and the annual Costume Institute Gala

vrijdag, mei 11th, 2007

fringe2.jpgOn Monday, the Metropolitan Museum of Art with Anna Wintour hosted it’s annual Costume Institute Gala, also know as THE party of the year in the fashion world. Big name starlets like Jennifer Lopez, Jessica Simpson, Lindsay Lohan, Ziyi Zhang, Cameron Diaz, Lucy Liu, Scarlett Johansson and Kate Moss and big name designers like Valentino Garavani, Marc Jacobs, Narciso Rodriguez, Tom Ford, Stella McCartney and Nicolas Ghesquière strutted their respective stuff on the red carpet.

Head-to-toe Tom

woensdag, mei 9th, 2007

Tom Ford himself“Tom Ford takes his complete men’s-wear concept to Manhattan. It’s custom, baby!”

You will find everything from suits to satchels, underwear to eyewear, in the well-appointed, 3,500-square-foot Madison Avenue home of the new Tom Ford label.

Ford, the suave 45-year-old Texan who gave us “tough chic” and pumped new life into Gucci and YSL, has re-entered the fashion world with a vengeance after heading for Hollywood in 2004 to try to fulfill his dreams of being a director. I cozied up to the designer on the eve of his opening – just before a champagne-drenched soiree that attracted a swish cross-section of glitterati, from Harvey Weinstein to Diddy – to talk about the vision behind the new Tom Ford label, which is both custom and off-the-rack.

Beker: It seems like you throw all of these balls up in the air, and plan to juggle all of them, but some of them land more quickly than others. We’ve already seen an eyewear line from you and a fragrance, with a whole beauty range on the way. Now this. Was it really all timed consciously?

Ford: Even when I started with the beauty and the eyewear, I had plans in the back of my mind to do men’s-wear. Everyone said, “Well, why are you starting with those two product categories?” But they gave me the funding in order to do this. Also, this took quite a lot of time. I don’t even know the exact number of products in the store, but there are at least 2,000, and I not only designed each one, but I also spent time in the various factories that manufactured the products. Then there was designing the store, the packaging, hangers, hang tags labels. … It was an enormous undertaking, but I have to say that it was so much fun … and now will be so much fun for the rest of my life.

Beker: What was the most fun about it?

Ford: I’ve always worked for other companies. I inherited an existing framework, and then I would graft my personality onto that. But there were certain things I had to live with and that weren’t necessarily my taste. This is the first time that I have ever been able to walk through a store, or my office, and in addition to loving everyone that I work with, because I hand-picked all of them, I love every product, every box, every label, every package, every chair. So I have to say it was very pure for me. If you are a designer, the ultimate is to express yourself completely.

Beker: Many men have become so style-savvy. They’ve developed a refined aesthetic, compared with a decade ago, when women would mostly shop for men.

His fashionFord: Men’s clothing in the 18th century was as ostentatious as women’s. So I do think men are as vain and care as much about their look as women. And I think that society in the last 10, 15, 20 years has allowed men to be more expressive without being self-conscious. But there were always men who really dressed, and cared about their appearance. Cary Grant was impeccable. He had his tailor make his costumes for every film. He always looked like “Cary Grant.” So I am not so sure that it’s new, but I do think men have come out of the closet with their love and their care of their appearance.

Beker: Yeah, for a while it was a little uncool to look like you cared too much.

Ford: Men weren’t supposed to be vain. Men weren’t supposed to care if their skin looked good, or if their butt looked good in a pair of pants, or if a jacket gave them the right shoulder line.

Beker: You tell me that you hate shopping. Why?

Ford: Well, I wouldn’t hate shopping here, which is why I built and designed this store and this collection. I hated that I had to go different places for products. I hated that nothing was ever exactly what I was looking for. The way we have set up this store is that the ground floor is ready-to-wear, the upper floor is made-to-measure.

You can come in, be measured, be fit. Come in with your wife or your girlfriend. We’ll serve you breakfast, lunch, dinner. You can. It’s all about service: We have butlers on staff – an entire housekeeping staff – so we run the store like a home. It’s a way to shop that is very different than most places to shop today.

Source: Theglobeandmail.com    By JEANNE BEKER