Ford in September 2009
|Born||Thomas Carlyle Ford
August 27, 1961 
Austin, Texas, U.S.
|Education||Parsons School of Design|
|Spouse(s)||Richard Buckley (m. 2014)|
Tom Ford (2004ï¼)
It's really never fair to judge people because none of us know what's going on inside anyone else's head.
From the time we're born until we die, we're kept busy with artificial stuff that isn't important.
Banking types should take their cue from Gordon Gekko. Or pick the best-looking banker in their firm and copy him.
I hate going out for lunch during a workday because it slows down my pace and ruins my rhythm. I prefer to eat at my desk. Actually, I wander around the design studio with a plate in my hand as I dine on, for example, salmon sashimi and a salad of tomatoes and mozzarella. I often have a bit of dark chocolate after lunch.
I think that monogamy is artificial. I do not think it's something that comes naturally to us.
My own skin-care ritual is quite simple and straightforward; I don't like a lot of fuss, surprisingly. My products are designed to make you look and feel better. I think there are a lot of men out there who want and need the same products.
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.
I'm a pretty calm person. That came from living in Italy for a long time. Nothing works, nothing is on time. You have to learn to deal with it.
What is important is that we stop and realize, 'Okay. This is fine. I can enjoy that.' But what is really important, what I'm really going to take away with me from this life, is my connection with other people.
If I'm sending emails, and I get all wound up and stressed and don't know what to do with myself for 20 minutes, I just go soak in hot water and lie there, thinking, 'What should I do?' So it's meditative.
When I am on my deathbed, I don't think I will be thinking about a nice pair of shoes I had or my beautiful house. I am going to be thinking about an evening I spent with somebody when I was twenty where I felt that I was just absolutely connected to them.
I was bullied every day at school because I carried a briefcase. I could have left it at home. But I thought it looked great! I didn't understand why anyone else didn't think so.
I told myself that I would not come back to women's fashion until I felt I had something new to say. I feel that fashion has become too serious and that the actual customer's needs have not really been addressed. Fashion needs to make one happy. It is a luxury and should enhance one's quality of life.
I was not good at team sports, I have to say. I'm quite good at individual sports, but I was not good at team sports, so I wasn't good at baseball and football.
If you're at the Oscars, there's not a man on that red carpet who is not wearing make-up. Most straight actors I know get quite used to it. Even when they go out in real life they grab some sort of bronzer and they throw it on. They dye their eyebrows, they dye their lashes – they know the tricks.
I love black dresses. I think everyone should own a lot, but black dresses don't sell online because on the computer they don't read like anything.
The dynamics of film directing and fashion design – in the ways that I've done it – were not dissimilar.
On the one hand, I want to go off and live in the desert with my dog and sculpt things out of adobe.
I don't think fashion has to change every five minutes. I'd like these to be clothes you can wear for a long time – ten, 20 years; pass on to your daughter. Why buy vintage when you can open your own closet!
My grandmother was probably the first person who I thought was beautiful. She was incredibly stylish, she had big hair, big cars. I was probably 3 years old, but she was like a cartoon character. She'd swoop into our lives with presents and boxes, and she always smelled great and looked great.
A lot of the things I did – it's not going to sound anything but egotistical – if I'm lucky and I did the right thing, they will be at Zara way before I can get them in the store, and I don't like that.
I think we're very uptight in America. You have to remember that we're descended from Puritans. Whether or not the country is now composed of immigrants, our culture as American really begins with the landing of the Pilgrims and a puritanical view of things.
I am not someone who likes cocktail parties or large dinner parties, but I have to attend them often. I much prefer very small dinners with close friends.
I don't work for money any longer. I'm fortunate enough not to need to work for money, but I work for pride; I work because I love to work, and so the idea that one could lose control of one's own name and that things could be produced with your name on that you were not proud of scared me.
I think people are sick of trends changing every six months – not because we're tired of them, but just for the sake of change. There is so much junk in the world: junk TV, junk movies, all those junk magazines with the same people on the cover.
The most important thing is to cleanse and moisturise your face twice a day. Use eye drops. If your eyes are white, you look healthy; you look fresh. Every man should have a magnifying mirror. If you look good magnified, you are set to go.
I probably do have an obsessive personality, but striving for perfection has served me well.
I was on the train from London to Paris, and all of a sudden it just popped into my head: I'm going to do the Don Loper fashion show from 'I Love Lucy.'
When I read about young designers selling 51 percent of their company to someone else, I cringe. I want to say, 'Don't do it – call me first.'
I'm a believer in fate and in fulfilling your destiny. I've always had a kind of inner voice that I have learned to listen to.
I love to design. I am a commercial fashion designer. I always design jackets with two sleeves. I don't design jackets with three sleeves, or the layers and layers come off like little dolls from Russia. Fashion for me is a creative endeavor, but it is not art for me.
I guess I'm just one of these people who, when I decide I'm going to do something, I just do it.
Fashion is harder than the film industry. You have to constantly be able to crank out hit after hit after hit on demand and on a very tight calendar. I've come back, I've lost it, I've come back again. It's really as good as your last collection.
A lot of people think a high armhole is restrictive, but it gives you total movement because it's cut right up to your arm.
There's a different kind of comfort that comes from knowing that you are putting your best foot forward. It's called psychological comfort. Look at a picture of the Coney Island boardwalk in 1925. Men were in full-on three-piece suits, hats. They may have only had one suit. But they pressed it. They made it look as good as possible.
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.
Fashion is much more collaborative than one might think. You have to have an idea and vision, and you have to communicate that vision to a team of people, and you have to create an environment that allows those people to give the best that they can give.
I am a spiritual person in an eastern religion kind of way. I learned that happiness for all of us is a switch that you flick in your brain. It doesn't have anything to do with getting a new house, a new car, a new girlfriend, or a new pair of shoes. Our culture is very much about that; we are never happy with what we have today.
I believe in living life the way that you want to live it every day, and if you do that, you don't really need to have New Year's resolutions.
I'm actually very introverted. I'm very shy. I'm very emotional.
I think the 1970s will always be the decade for me. Obviously, I grew up in that era, but the beauty standard was touchable, kissable.
There are many designers who have much greater talent as a designer than I do, but they may not have my drive, they may not work as hard, they may not have the focus, the desire… You have to have a talent because, at the end of the day, if the pants you design don't make someone's butt look great, they're not going to buy them.
As a fashion designer, I was always aware that I was not an artist, because I was creating something that was made to be sold, marketed, used, and ultimately discarded.
Part of fashion is newness. It's got to be a new combination of elements that's shocking-stunning-beautiful all at the same time. But it doesn't have any emotion.
I live, I shop almost exclusively on the Internet. I've bought cars on the Internet. I watch television, I do everything on it. I even watch my son online.
I enjoy the speed of fashion. I love doing different things and I think I still have something valid to say in fashion.
There's nothing wrong with ankles. But only if you're playing football in the park.
Your name is a funny thing. It stands for what you're about, and everything I do is really about pride.
I think people who are compelled to achieve never really think they've achieved… I think the moment you get to a place when you think 'Oh I'm a fashion legend' then that's when you're no longer competitive in your field.
When you are having fun and creating something you love, it shows in the product. So when a woman is sifting through a rack of clothes, somehow that piece of clothing that you had so much fun designing speaks to her; she responds to it and buys it. I believe you can actually transfer that energy to material things as you're creating them.
The U.S. used to be perceived as the moral leader of the world, and we have absolutely lost that.
I am actually extremely casual in certain environments. But one of the reasons I like living in London, I like the formality of it, as compared to the formality of America – or informality. I like putting on a suit. I like putting on a tie.
I hate tricky facial hair. If your facial hair is too spotty in places, shave. Just forget about it.
Do you know how rare it is in parts of America to actually see 'an outfit'? France? I don't want to be anti-French, but there isn't a more unattractive group of people on the streets.
There aren't many strong or charismatic candidates today, because many people can't withstand the scrutiny.
I haven't had any plastic surgery – despite what people think, this is my nose. I have had Restylane and Botox, but I don't think of that as plastic surgery any more.
We have the Terminator as governor, and we had an actor as president, so why shouldn't we have a fashion designer as a senator?
In the early Seventies, I had shoulder-length hair, bell-bottom pants, love beads and shirts that laced up at the front. But then I smartened up.
I have a driver in London because I am slightly dyslexic and cannot drive in the U.K.; after all, the traffic runs the opposite way to that in the United States.
My customer has her own sense of style and knows herself well. My goal is to help women become the best version of themselves.
I am a perfectionist. This job is a total ego thing in a way. To be a designer and say, 'This is the way they should dress; this is the way their homes should look; this is the way the world should be.' But then, that's the goal: world domination through style.
I grew up in New Mexico, and the older I get, I have less need for contemporary culture and big cities and all the stuff we are bombarded with. I am happier at my ranch in the middle of nowhere watching a bug carry leaves across the grass, listening to silence, riding my horse, and being in open space.
Advertising is, of course, important because advertise is the final design. It's the last layer that speaks to the customer, that tells them what you have.
Your connections with other people are important, our connection to the earth.
Certain directors are known for a certain kind of beauty; it becomes their signature.
I understand that I have a certain look that can be used to my advantage. I know the power of that when I walk into a room and talk to people, and I can use it as an advertising tool. Now I am actually selling me, my face, my thoughts. So I am my guy.
As a designer, design director or any creative person, you have to hire great people, support them and make them feel comfortable so they can contribute and give you their best.
I find a bath meditative and usually prepare myself for the day in this manner.
I am totally fearless! Well, of course, I'm not totally fearless. I worry constantly and obsess over things, but I just don't let fear stand in the way of doing something that I really want to do.
I find a bath meditative and usually prepare myself for the day in this manner.
British men are peacocks. You see a lot more style on the streets here than you see anywhere else, on every level.
I'm living the exact life I planned on living when I was five. My life has taken some turns and changes that I didn't anticipate, and it has brought me different things. I thought material things would bring me happiness, which they didn't. But through this, I have learned what things are important and what aren't.
Students in the '60s were responsible for great changes, politically and socially.
I went to a fashion show, and this silver-haired guy was staring at me with these piercing water-blue eyes. It scared me because I absolutely saw and knew my entire future.
You never make it, especially in this industry where you constantly churn out stuff, things. You never finish.
I think that they haven't been able to perfect a good facelift for a man.
I couldn't have cared less about Gucci when I first went there – but soon after I arrived, I cared a lot.
I think you should suffer sometimes to be attractive and beautiful, so I cut the clothes very slim because I like to feel the clothes on my body.
My grandmother was probably the first person who I thought was beautiful. She was incredibly stylish, she had big hair, big cars. I was probably 3 years old, but she was like a cartoon character.
We've become a little spoiled with menswear in particular because, of course, we've come off a period in the '70s and '80s when Armani, which is very soft, dominated menswear. And we've become obsessed with comfort. I actually don't like that.
But as an adult working in the fashion industry, I struggle with materialism. And I'm one of the least materialistic people that exist, because material possessions don't mean much to me. They're beautiful, I enjoy them, they can enhance your life to a certain degree, but they're ultimately not important.
This sounds crazy, but I know so many famous people, I'm just not intimidated by anyone. I feel really comfortable with it.
When I was a little kid, all I wanted to do was to escape what I thought was the country and get to a city. Probably film and television had influenced me so much, I really thought the key to happiness was living a very artificial life in a penthouse in New York with martini glasses.
I don't do shows. I don't have reviews. I'm not putting the clothes on every celebrity so that by the time they reach the store the customers are sick of seeing them.
I am really a loner after all; I am really not a social person. Because of my job, people think I am out every night, but I really hate all that. I am somebody who likes to be alone and see some close friends. I am a shy and introspective person.
You always notice a facelift on a woman. It's a tightness around the ears, and the scar is usually inside the ears. If I suspect it's been done, I usually move around until I can see it. But with a man, it actually pulls your beard and your sideburns back, and that's what's so strange.
We live in a material world. I'm not saying that beautiful things don't enhance our lives. But, in our culture, we're never happy.
If my parents had discouraged me, I would have turned out very differently. They raised me in an open-minded, liberal environment.