Tom Ford 2013

Doing Coke Off The Table' Was Common Among Early CustomersHow does a designer with a legendary career and a peaking line of his own stay humble for the press? If he’s Tom Ford, he doesn’t. The industry veteran who logged years at Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent before helming his own label opened up to WWD about his many successes and about the criticism he’s received along the way.

Ford’s interview with Bridget Foley is full of revelations: He admits that his collection is like “Escada on acid” and that Zara will be quick to copy his creations if the chain knows what’s good for it. The juciest morsel, though, is the designer’s frank discussion of his customers’ drug preferences early in his career.

“I’m in a totally different place,” he says, comparing his current track to early industry memories. “I don’t drink, I don’t smoke. I’m not the guy who’s designing clothes for someone who is doing lines of coke off the table, like I was when I was at Gucci and Saint Laurent.”

Well, there you have it: Tom Ford says haute shoppers might have some bad habits.

This taboo topic surfaces often in the fashion industry. Marc Jacobs has confessed to addiction (though he was sure to clarify that he was a skinny heroin addict). Kate Moss denies that her “heroin chic” moniker is an allusion to substance abuse. Lanvin’s Alber Elbaz admitted he’d “love” drugs — if he took them, that is.

Sounds like things are looking cleaner for Ford these days, though. “It’s like everything in your life is wonderful, but you have so much wonderful — this is all going to sound horrible — but when you have so much wonderful, it isn’t wonderful because you don’t actually have time to enjoy it,” he profoundly proclaims.