In addition to making sartorial magic at Yves Saint Laurent and Gucci, directing an Oscar-nominated film (A Single Man, 2009), designing his own womenswear collection, holding super top-secret presentations and debuting a high-profile beauty line, Tom Ford is known for his gift of gab. The 50-year-old American fashion designer and film director undoubtedly has a way with words, which is how he's convinced Julianne Moore and Beyonce to walk his exclusive SS11 fashion show, consistently seduces Carine Roitfeld, and is called upon to provide tips for the modern man.
The well-suited Ford recently sat down with Grazia's style director Paula Reed at an Apple store to wax poetic on a host of hard-hitting topics, from H&M collaborations to runway shows to his real take on American fashion. Here's what we learned.
1. He's been with his boyfriend for a really long time. "My proudest moment was December 2011 – my 25th anniversary with Richard Buckley. Being with the same person for 25 years I’m very proud of and I have to say we’re happier and have a better relationship now than we did 25 years ago."
2. He thinks Americans are afraid of style. "London is a place where eccentricity and individuality in clothing in particular is admired, and is respected…. Americans are afraid of style. You know, remember America was founded by the puritans who fled the UK. They were very stern and strict, and too much style in America is considered a bad thing. That’s changing, you know, now it’s totally different really. Globally, we’re unfortunately seeing a breast implant style taking that’s over the world."
3. He doesn't believe runway shows are realistic. "I think a lot of people have switched off of fashion. I think one reason is because of runway shows. When I came back to fashion with a women’s’ collection this time and then a men’s collection I decided not to do runway shows, because when you do a runway show you have to amp things up in a way so that they read from a great distance - so that they are designed for photography rather than for a consumer. So you can exaggerate things to the point where they don’t actually function in real life for most peoples’ lives. And what I wanted to do was create clothes for real people."
4. Don't hold your breath for a Tom Ford x H&M collab. "No, I’ve never had a conversation with them. I’m amused every time I read that. Not that I don’t have respect for them but I never had a conversation with them."
Read many more highlights on Grazia here.