Tom Ford on How Designers Are Dictators and Why He Would Turn Down Dressing a Celebrity
Tom Ford is a style icon—from Beyoncé to Gigi Hadid, Rihanna to Scarlett Johansson, stars ceaselessly choose to don the designer's pieces for the most esteemed events. Since beginning his career at Gucci, Ford has gone on to start his own label and even direct films like the Oscar-nominated A Single Man.
From movie sets to the red carpet, Ford has a sartorial hand in it all, and recently spoke to InStyle’s Editorial Director Ariel Foxman to reflect on his experiences and share that unique perspective. In an interview for the Feb. 22 issue of Time, Ford dishes on his hopes for the next U.S. president, why he would turn down dressing a celebrity, and how he really feels about Gucci’s Creative Director Alessandro Michele. Get highlights from Foxman’s interview below.
On the person he would choose to be the next U.S. president:
I am hoping for a Democratic president—though a female president won't be able to wear my clothes because they're too expensive. And I think that that's absolutely right.
On Alessandro Michele:
I shouldn't say things about another brand, but I love Alessandro Michele (creative director) at Gucci. That logo hasn't changed, but only in the last year, now everyone wants to wear it. And that's a compliment to him. He's terrific. And the same thing happened to me at Gucci. The logo was there, and no one wanted to wear it. I had a couple good collections, and everyone wanted to wear it.
On how designers are like dictators:
I also have the track record and the consistency and the platform. I also think it's confidence, a kind of dictatorship mentality. We're dictators. We say, "I hate that." We don't say, "I kind of don't like ..." And we have the confidence to say, "That's awful" or "Yes, that's beautiful. Wear that!"
On how his personal aesthetic defines consumer ideas:
Luxury and exclusivity are about the quality and service of the goods being sold. That will not change at all. The clothes and accessories will still be as beautifully made as always, and the service to the customer exceptional. In most other areas of the luxury market, instant gratification has also become part of the luxury experience. In fact, the ultimate luxury now is to not have to wait at all. It is a romantic notion to think that people want to wait for things and anticipate them, but I'm afraid that no one really wants to wait for anything anymore.
On dressing celebrities:
I would never dress someone who was popular who I did not respect—someone who I didn't think had great style or was not a great talent. I have turned down dressing people because I think, I don't care that people think she's hot. I think she's awful, and dressing her would be a statement.