If there’s anyone in this world whose notebook is worth taking a leaf out of then it’s designer, filmmaker, father and style icon Tom Ford. Editor-in-Chief Susannah Taylor was invited to a private audience with Mr F hosted by Get The Gloss writer Kinvara Balfour at the Apple store, to find out what makes him tick.
1. Have a good business head
In the 1980s, Tom was working in New York as a junior designer and he learnt very early on that ‘fashion is a commercial endeavor’, and the importance of ‘merchandising your collection as you were building it. You had to have a business head and a design sensibility.’
He described instances where people were frogmarched out of the building if their designs weren’t performing on the shop floor. “I wanted to make sure that didn’t happen to me,” he said. “I became very aware of ‘this is selling, that’s selling’.”
2. Get naked
From Mr F’s imagery, it’s clear to see that the man likes bare flesh. But what about himself? “I used to spend most of the time on my own naked, but now we have a child, it means I have a nanny and so I can’t come downstairs naked and have a bowl of cereal in the morning. Before I had a child I literally took off all my clothes the minute I walked through the door and that was that.” He went on to say that he always sleeps naked and couldn’t understand why the Brits sleep with clothes on.
3. Do what you feel compelled to do
A member of the audience asked Mr Ford “What is your why? Why do you get up in the morning, what drives you?”
He replied: “I like building things, it’s a compulsion and it’s what makes me happy. As a child I liked building things. You have to fulfill your destiny.”
4. Start from the bottom
“Everyone should be an intern,” said Mr Ford. “In today’s world, you can make a sex film and become a star overnight.” But he insisted on the importance of knowing what it’s like to work on basics in life and to understand a business from the ground up. “You should sweep floors, you should pick up pins. You should run errands because you learn so much.”
5. Think globally
“I consider myself an international designer. To function in the world today you have to think globally, and global culture is more and more united. I design for an international customer – they can be Russian shopping in New York, Japanese shopping in LA.”
6. Wear black
“Our number one sales product is black. Black for me is about sculpture, texture, fabric, shape. You lose colour, so you just have the shape, the body of the fabric, the difference between satin and velvet and those textures. For me that is very pure, very sculptural.”