There is nothing Grazia Daily loves more than a fashion frenzy and H&M's designer collaborations always get the hysteria going — remember the queues for Versace, Marni and Lanvin, par exemple. So we were nothing short of giddy to hear that TOM FORD! might be the next designer to step up to the high street challenge...
It was in November last year that a sneaky little hint first emerged. When asked about the possibility of a collaboration with the slicker-than-slick designer, H&M’s creative adviser, Margareta van den Bosch, said: ‘I can say, I wouldn’t mind.’ Oooh. At the time, Mr Ford's office declined to comment, but the speculation just would. not. die.
Until now. During a discussion with Fern Mallis in New York on Tuesday night, Ford finally spoke out about the persistent rumours. 'I keep reading that, and I find that amusing', he said. 'I've never had a conversation with H&M. I'm really happy doing what I do... What excites me now is the very best: the best stitching, the best fabric, the best quality. And unfortunately, or fortunately, that does tend to cost money.'
Oh boo. But! Tom did dish up a few more gems about working at YSL and creating his film debut. Here are the highlights in chic bite-size chunks...
On getting dressed for school at age 7: "I didn't want to carry a book bag. I thought it looked messy. No, I had a nice little overcoat and I had a briefcase. And it was a real man's briefcase. And when you're 7 years old, a real man’s briefcase is like going to school with luggage."
On his first job with designer Cathy Hardwick: "Of course you would assume if someone is showing you a fashion portfolio that they studied fashion. I didn't. [Ford studied interior design and architecture at Parsons.] The first day she said, 'Draw some circle skirts.' And I'm like, 'Sh*t.' So I went to Bloomingdale's, flipped open the circle skirts, saw where all the seams were, ran back to the office, sketched some circle skirts, and put them on her desk. So I learned a lot on the job."
On designing Yves Saint Laurent: "Yves was very friendly at first... As things started to go well and as things started to get good reviews and our sales started going up, Yves was no longer my friend. And I actually have some wonderful handwritten letters in very beautiful handwriting in ink: 'In 13 minutes you have destroyed what I worked 40 years to create.' It was tough."
On his first movie, 'A Single Man': "I wasn't trying to create a big box office hit. I was trying to create something personal that I loved that I didn't compromise on, and it was a very different type of expression."
On aspiring designers: "If there's anything else in the world you could be happy doing, do that. I'm serious. This is the hardest industry... If you love it great. You'll have a wonderful life. But I don't think people realize how hard people work in fashion."