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Sound bites from the immensely quotable designer.
Written By Jess Basser Sanders
Tom Ford and Stella Tennant | The Mandates of Mr Tom Ford | The Violet Files | @violetgrey

TOM FORD AND STELLA TENNANT, 2004 / PHOTOGRAPHY BY ARTHUR ELGORT / CONDE NAST / CONTOUR BY GETTY IMAGES

Tom Ford has never been one to hold his tongue. During his 20-plus-year tenure in the fashion, beauty, and film industries, Mr. Ford has become renowned for his snappy one-liners and outrageous musings on everything from clothes to sexuality to female (and male) beauty. He has been known to proposition journalists mid-interview (“I’ll go get a room”), and he offers a unique spin on gender equality (“I’m an equal opportunity objectifier”). Recent fatherhood may have mellowed Mr. Ford somewhat (naked interviews, such as the fabled one with A. A. Gill for The Times, are presumably off the table), but that legendary wit is still very much intact. We at The Violet Files certainly appreciate such assertiveness in our beauty idols (see: Maintenance Rules by Coco Chanel), so in celebration of his new Neroli Portofino Forte fragrance launch, we have compiled some of Mr. Ford’s most memorable musings.

MR. FORD’S
MUSINGS

Tom Ford walks the runway | Spring/Summer 2015 | The Mandates of Mr Tom Ford | The Violet Files | @violetgrey
  • FORD AT HIS SPRING 2015 SHOW
  • PHOTOGRAPHY BY SAMIR HUSSEIN / WIREIMAGE
ON HIS EARLY SENSE OF STYLE...

I was the only 3-year-old who walked around with a blazer folded over his arm. I was very particular and very difficult, and I would only wear certain shoes. When my mother would go out, I would move the furniture and rearrange the living room. I just wanted to redecorate the world.

— Tom Ford, The New York Times Magazine, 1996

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ON HIS GRANDMA...

My grandmother was probably the first person
who I thought was beautiful. She was incredibly stylish, she had big hair, big cars...she was like a cartoon character...she always smelled great and looked great.

— T.f., Interview, 2011

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I don’t like showers. Why do ANYTHING standing up that you could do LYING down?
– T.F., esquire uk, 2014
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ON THE TOM FORD WOMAN...

There’s nothing stronger and more powerful than a beautiful woman...My women are not sitting there waiting for someone, they’re taking charge. Doesn’t matter whether they’re naked—they’re powerful, they’re smart and you’re not going to get them if they don’t want you.

— T.F., The Guardian, 2015

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Tom Ford Autumn/Winter 2015 | The Mandates of Mr Tom Ford | The Violet Files | @violetgrey
  • TOM FORD AUTUMN/WINTER 2015
  • PHOTOGRAPHY BY MICHAEL TRAN / WIREIMAGE
ON SUFFERING FOR BEAUTY...

I was taken to the emergency room when I was 14, because I put cucumbers on my eyes to try and hide the bags. That’s when I learned I was allergic to cucumbers.

— T.F., Esquire UK, 2014

Just because one is SPIRITUAL doesn’t mean that one doesn’t like crocodile, CASHMERE.
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ON GENDER...

I hate those two words, feminine and masculine. I mean, what are they? Why is a suit masculine and not feminine? And why is eye makeup feminine and not masculine? It’s so stupid. We’re just people.

– T.F., The Advocate, 1997

ON DEFINITIONS...

Sluttiness is just a lot of freedom.

– T.F., GQ, 2004

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I don’t wear anything in bed. In fact, I RARELY wear clothes at all when I am at home.
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ON DRESSING FOR THE OCCASION...

I believe if you’re meeting someone for dinner, you dress smartly to show that you respect them. I absolutely think that dressing well is an expression of manners. I think dressing well on an airplane is an expression of manners, too.

– T.F., GQ UK, 2013

Julianne Moore wearing Tom Ford | The Mandates of Mr Tom Ford | The Violet Files | @violetgrey
  • JULIANNE MOORE WEARING TOM FORD
  • LEFT: FORD AND MOORE AT THE GOLDEN GLOBES, 2016
  • PHOTOGRAPHY BY STEVE GRANITZ / WIREIMAGE
  • RIGHT: MOORE WITH HER BAFTA AWARD, 2015
  • PHOTOGRAPHY BY TIM P. WHITBY / GETTY IMAGES
ON JULIANNE MOORE...

Julianne is somebody who has a great sense of style; she is extremely knowledgeable about furniture and art and decoration and fashion...She’s exactly the kind of woman that you dream will be loving and wearing your clothes.

– T.F., Financial Times, 2014

I am my
own MUSE.
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ON VANITY...

I don’t know what vain means. For me, vain means when you look in the mirror and say, ‘Wow! I’m amazing.’ I built a career out of noticing imperfections and correcting them.

– T.F., Esquire UK, 2014

HOLLYWOOD
ON HOLIDAY

The Italian fishing village of Portofino is home to as much Hollywood lore as the Chateau Marmont—and the perfect inspiration for Tom Ford’s new fragrance, Neroli Portofino Forte.

COCO CHANEL’S RULES OF
ENGAGEMENT

Beauty and maintenance rules from the mouth of Mademoiselle Chanel herself.