Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Tom Ford & Joan Smalls for WSJ Magazine September 2013

On striving for the best: "I'm at a point in my life where I want to make the very best. That's what interests me. If it's not the best, I don't want to make it."

On launching the Tom Ford brand just before the financial crisis struck:  "It certainly has been more difficult than we thought. It was very, very difficult for all luxury brands." However, things changed for the better: "We have customers—a lot of them—who spend more than a million dollars a year with us because they come in and just order: suit, suit, suit, suit, suit, suit," he says, snapping his fingers. Karen Katz, the CEO and president of Neiman Marcus, says that customers buying Tom Ford "tend to be people who are strong. They're confident. They're powerful. And I think buying the products just helps them with all that—being even more confident and stronger."

On not going out very often: "I'm an absolute introvert. I do not like parties larger than eight close friends. I'm quite the loner. What I do publicly is a performance. It's part of my job, and I'm good at it."

On his son and being happy: "I'm generally happier than I've ever been. I'm really happy when I see my son in the morning. I'm also happy to walk in here to my office and see everyone working. I'm happy to have certain meetings. Then I'm not happy to have other ones."

On being in charge of his destiny and still loving a good challenge: "There's an adrenaline. I'm somebody who likes to jump through hoops. I realized that. I like to jump through hoops." What about a hoop on fire? "Has to be lit on fire. Absolutely. And then I want the hoop to get skinnier and narrower, to see if I can still jump through it."


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