THE AMERICAN FASHION HEAVYWEIGHT ON BUCKING TRENDS AND HIS NEED FOR A WARDROBE FULL OF WOOL.
Not many designers have the courage or the commitment to consistently hit reset on style. But when it comes to menswearmaestro Thom Browne, let’s just say the 50-year-old doesn’t look to the fashion elite for creative guidance. Having started his career as a showroom salesman at Giorgio Armani, the enigmatic and always debonair Browne then spent years as Club Monaco’s creative lead before going it alone. One part renegade, another part traditionalist, with an unfinching emphasis on “quality materials like Australian merino wool”, we sat down with the man of style who others look to emulate.
GQ: Why have men become so style-conscious the past decade? Thom Browne:
Because designers have brought guys up to their level. They’ve taken chances and made guys think differently.
GQ: How hard it is to cut through in this industry? TB:
I don’t feel like it was that tough. I set out to do what I wanted to do myself. From there, it became something so much bigger than I ever thought, but it made it a lot easier that I didn’t set out wanting to be in fashion.
GQ: What are the key lessons you’ve learnt? TB:
The most important thing is having a point of view. I knew I felt strongly about starting from something classic. I create things that are provocative and risky but I always feel there’s a reason for why I’m doing it.
GQ: Why are you drawn to tailoring? TB:
It’s as simple as I love tailoring and I love wearing jackets and trousers. I like to design in a bit of a bubble so I’m not infuenced by trends. They’ll be in and as soon as they’re fnished they’ll be out.
GQ: What drove you to go it alone with your own label? TB:
My style was better suited to younger guys who weren’t that interested in tailoring. So changing the proportion and sensibility, I started opening the eyes of the younger guy and showed them that handmade clothing at this level is really interesting. Thom Browne’s SS16 collection will be available at Harrolds, Melbourne