As Tom Ford prepares to stream his Fall fashion show Wednesday, September 7—just a day before the collection arrives at Bergdorf Goodman and BG.com—we talked to the designer about the changing nature of modern luxury.
Why did you decide to show the collection as it arrives in the store?
I am always experimenting with new ways to debut my collections and connect with our customers. Showing the collection as it arrives in stores will allow us to build on the excitement from the show and satisfy our customers’ desire to shop from a collection that is available immediately. True luxury is having the clothes you want, at the moment you want to wear them.
While you’re keeping the collection under wraps before the show, what can you say about it?
I can say that it will be the first time that we are showing the men’s and women’s collections together. You will have to [watch] on September 7 to find out.
The fashion industry is in the midst of serious changes. What’s most exciting about this for you?
Customers today want to have their clothes at the moment they would like to wear them. It will be exciting to make this possible.
You launched your namesake collection 10 years ago this fall. Have you achieved what you set out to do?
My goal was to build a brand that would withstand the test of time and be the first true luxury brand of the 21st century. I think that we have accomplished both of those goals, but there is so much more that I would like to achieve in the next 10 years.
How has your vision of the woman you’re dressing changed?
The Tom Ford woman is, and has always been, confident, strong and appreciates quality. In this sense, she has not changed. I do, however, think that she has evolved in the way she consumes my collections. That is why we are adapting to a calendar that will allow us to address her needs.
Your second film, Nocturnal Animals, opens November 18. What can you tell us about it?
I cannot reveal anything right now, but it will be a significant departure from A Single Man.
How does your film and fashion work influence each other?
They are separate entities for me. Fashion is a commercial endeavor. It is about selling something beautiful, something that enhances people’s lives. But it can also be very fleeting. Film, however, is the ultimate design project; you can design whether people live or die, what they say, what happens and what the mood is. And it is sealed forever in that world. It is a permanent thing you can create.
You have had an enormous influence on fashion during your career. Do you recognize that influence in what you see people wearing?
What is great about fashion is that you have a voice that can influence contemporary culture. You are able to help people feel better about who they are or how they express themselves through their clothes. There is nothing like the feeling you have when a consumer buys, wears and loves what you have designed.
Your collection has been enormously successful across all categories—ready-to-wear, accessories, fragrances, beauty and sunglasses. What’s next?
We are rapidly growing as a company and have an aggressive global expansion plan in place.
You’ve been famous for two decades. What would people be surprised to learn about you?
I’m actually quite shy.
Watch the Tom Ford Fall fashion show live Wednesday, September 7, at 7pm, on BG.com, and shop the collection in-store the following day.
Photo credit: Courtesy of Tom Ford