BODY PER­FECT

VOGUE Hommes International (English) - - VOGUEHOMMANIA - IN­TER­VIEW BY Olivier LALANNE PHO­TO­GRAPH Gi­a­como VALOIS

Hol­ly­wood and fash­ion icon Tom Ford needs no in­tro­duc­tion. Per­fec­tion is sec­ond na­ture to him. His suits and din­ner jack­ets daz­zle on the red car­pet and his con­sum­mately re­fined ready– to–wear col­lec­tions scream lux­ury. Even though he of­ten says that noth­ing is more ir­re­sistible than nu­dity, the de­signer, a fer­vent “no un­der­wear” ad­vo­cate, has at last taken the plunge and rolled out — some fif­teen years af­ter launch­ing his own brand — his first line of un­der­wear, for men who like to flaunt it. The line–up fea­tures silk, del­i­cate cot­ton, sub­tle tones in a pal­ette of flesh and bronze, an­i­mal prints, and the sig­na­ture of this mar­ket­ing ge­nius tat­tooed on the elasti

cated waists.

VOGUE HOMMES

You’ve al­ways said that you never wear un­der­wear. Why did you de­cide to launch a col­lec­tion?

TOM FORD

Well, I don’t wear dresses ei­ther and I de­sign those. It’s true that dur­ing the day I don’t usu­ally wear un­der­wear, but now that I have a child I wear it at home at night. If I’m go­ing into the kitchen in the early morn­ing for a bowl of ce­real or a cup of cof­fee, it is bet­ter to have un­der­wear on rather than scare the nanny or house­keeper. Un­der­wear was re­ally one of the last cat­e­gories that I did not make. I thought about launch­ing it sev­eral years ago, but un­til re­cently in or­der to do a real busi­ness in un­der­wear you had to have a very, very large dis­tri­bu­tion net­work; with that came loss of con­trol of the im­age and the way that the un­der­wear was sold. The In­ter­net has changed all of that. My un­der­wear will be avail­able only in my own stores and at our re­tail part­ners who carry the rest of the col­lec­tion and of course on­line where I ex­pect it to be a strong busi­ness. One rea­son that I de­cided to launch un­der­wear is that I wanted to have an en­try price point into the TF world for men. With women, I have that in lip­stick. If a woman loves the brand and can­not af­ford my clothes, she can buy the lip­sticks and cos­met­ics. If a man loves what I de­sign but can­not yet af­ford one of my suits, he can still buy one of the things that I make with a pair of un­der­wear.

VOGUE HOMMES

Which is your favourite item in the col­lec­tion? And would you wear it?

TOM FORD

I didn’t want to just de­sign a lot of white un­der­wear with my name on it. Dur­ing the 60s and 70s when women wore flesh–coloured stock­ings, my mother would wear stock­ings in her skin tone. In de­sign­ing the un­der­wear, I thought it would be great if we had seven dif­fer­ent skin tone colours in cot­ton with the idea that you could lit­er­ally look al­most naked when you took your clothes off, apart from the waist band. I also de­signed silk boxer shorts and quite a few prints. If a woman se­lects spe­cial un­der­wear for a hot date, then why shouldn’t a man? I tend to wear ei­ther the cot­ton jer

sey box­ers or the silk box­ers.

VOGUE HOMMES

What is a no–no in terms of un­der­wear?

TOM FORD

Un­der­wear that’s worn out. Not pretty.

VOGUE HOMMES

What de­fines Tom Ford un­der­wear?

TOM FORD

The same thing that I hope de­fines all of the things with my name on them: qual­ity and style.

VOGUE HOMMES

This is­sue is ded­i­cated to the con­cept of chic. What does chic mean to you?

TOM FORD

Chic is how you treat other people.

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