Tom Ford’s TIME OUT Magazine Interview
Tom Ford spent ten years as the creative director of Gucci and YSL, and is credited with reviving both luxury brands. Today, the American fashion designer has his own empire, which includes menswear, womenswear, footwear, accessories, fragrances, cosmetics and beauty products, as well as a film production company. Check out these excerpts from his recent interview with Time Out Magazine Hong Kong.
How much pressure exists in the fashion industry? And how do you feel about what happened to John Galliano [sacked for anti-semitism] and Alexander McQueen [suicide]?
Well I certainly relate. First of all, I brought Alexander McQueen to Gucci group and I loved him and he’s a true, true artist. I do understand that pressure, because I used to have it at Gucci. You work for a large company like that and it’s three billion dollars a year in business. And if you do a bad collection, the company’s sale drops dramatically. And the other thing is that everyone who works for that company gets their pride from feeling proud of the products that are created. If you have a bad collection and it’s reviewed badly and it’s not selling the [softens voice] pride and the whole company drops and you feel responsible for it. With the work at Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent I couldn’t have gone on much longer because I was designing 16 collections a year and I was the vice chairman of the company and was working in the acquisitions committee, bringing in Stella McCartney and buying all these different brands and designing collections. There was enormous pressure and you have to be very strong. And you become isolated. Even though I really helped build Gucci from nothing to where it was, well, as that happened you become isolated because you’re like a racehorse. People just say: ‘Keep ‘em happy! Keep ‘em happy!’ because they want you to keep working. They want to get more out of you. You need to perform, perform, perform.
How do you feel about Galliano?
I don’t want to comment. I know John, I like John a lot. Obviously he’s very troubled. I feel very sorry for him. Historically, Yves Saint Laurent had drug problems. A lot of different fashion designers had drugs and alcohol problems. It’s a very tough, tough, tough business. You have to be very strong.
Do people say ‘yes’ to you all the time?
Of course they do.
You can read the rest HERE.