Happy Birthday, Tom Ford! To celebrate the impossibly dapper fashion designer and film director's fifty-one years on this planet, I've rounded up Ford's best words of wisdom—from rational to ridiculous.
1. Ford to Grazia: "London is a place where eccentricity and individuality in clothing in particular is admired, and is respected…. Americans are afraid of style."
2. Ford to Another Man: "A man should never wear shorts in the city. Flip-flops and shorts in the city are never appropriate. Shorts should only be worn on the tennis court or on the beach."
3. Ford to Vogue: "I couldn’t have cared less about Gucci when I first went there – but soon after I arrived, I cared a lot."
4. Ford to Interview: "I think gay men make better designers."
5. Ford to GQ: "Keep your jacket buttoned. Always. It's just really flattering—it will take pounds off you."
6. Ford to Another Man: "Don't be pretentious or racist or sexist or judge people by their background."
7. Ford to Vogue: "One of the most important things is to figure out what your look is – I don’t wear this black suit-white shirt combination all the time to try and be iconic – but because I’m most comfortable in this."
8. Ford to Vogue: "I have a split personality – there is the public version and the private one. I’m really shy – someone asked me if I was happier surrounded by people or happier alone and I’m definitely happier alone – I can spend days on my own. I’m a definite introvert."
9. Ford to Interview: "[W]hen I come home I actually take off all my clothes, and I wear no clothes until I leave. I eat naked. I do everything completely naked."
10. Ford to VMAN: "This sounds negative, but when you’re considered one of the most beautiful women in the world, it’s very, very hard when that starts to slip away [...] So I hope Gisele is prepared for that, because it’s so difficult.”