14 Life Lessons From The Iconic & Inimitable Tom Ford
— 3 August 2023

14 Life Lessons From The Iconic & Inimitable Tom Ford

— 3 August 2023
Randy Lai
WORDS BY
Randy Lai

After formalising the sale of his leviathan luxury fashion house to the Estée Lauder conglomerate last November, Tom Ford still made time to take one last bow in his habitual role of Creative Director; before handing the reigns off to long-time colleague and menswear design director Mr Peter Hawkings.

This passing of the torch marks a definitive conclusion to the 13-year epoch during which Ford launched Tom Ford International (his own namesake label) before catapulting it into the global fashion elite’s most rarefied echelons, atop the shoulders of an aesthetic that has always been interested in intertwined concepts of sex and power.

RELATED: How To Look Good On Zoom (As Told By Tom Ford)

Among a small handful of 21st century designers “who really created the whole concept of creative director in the first place” (via The New York Times), Ford has pulled off some wildly successful coups of both the commercial and critical variety since he began the post-Gucci phase of his career, back in 2010.

Now, as this American colossus bids adieu to fashion (to hopefully focus on making feature-length films, maybe?) we look back on a couple of his most quotable Ford-isms. As it turns out: the CFDA award winner’s dogma about “flip-flops and shorts in the city” was just the beginning.

You can read all of our favourite Tom Ford quotes below.


The Greatest Tom Ford Quotes Of All Time

These Tom Ford Quotes Are 11 Brilliant Life Lessons
Pictured: Scenes from the AW2023 ‘Archive’ Collection – Ford’s final womenswear showing before he formally departs his own namesake brand.

1. “You should put on the best version of yourself when you go out in the world because that is a show of respect to the other people around you.”

2. “Shouting is wasted energy. It embarrasses people in front of other people.”

3. “The most important thing a man can do is exercise and maintain his weight. Because that’s the key to looking youthful.”

4. “A man needs a blazer, a pair of jeans, a beautiful pair of shoes, a beautiful watch — we’ve all heard this before — a perfect tuxedo, a good dark suit, a tie — that’s it.”

5. “Confident doesn’t mean cocky: you don’t want to walk in the room and be an asshole.”

6. “Never, ever, ever wear anything you are uncomfortable in. Because that is what you’ll project: ‘I look like a fool.’ Even if you don’t: you’ll be tentative and not your best.”

7. “The secret to a long-term relationship? Choose someone great to begin with, then stick it out.”

8. “Like white teeth, white eyes matter. Use Visine.”

9. “I worry constantly and obsess over things, but I don’t let fear stand in the way of doing something that I really want to do.”

These Tom Ford Quotes Are 11 Brilliant Life Lessons

10. “When I see people dressed really poorly, I think ‘my God, you have to get a full-length mirror. That sounds terrible, but you have to be brutal with yourself: you have to assess yourself in an architectural way.”

11. “If you’re excited in life, you’re going to be better at what you’re creating.”

12. “Night is the one and only place where men can dress in a really extravagant way.”

(Image Credit: Vogue)

13. “The way you smell can make as much of an impression — if not more — than the way you look.”

14. “Style and fashion should enhance your life — not cause you more stress.”

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Randy Lai
WORDS by
Following 6 years in the trenches covering consumer luxury across East Asia, Randy joins Boss Hunting as the team's Commercial Editor. His work has been featured in A Collected Man, M.J. Bale, Soho Home, and the BurdaLuxury portfolio of lifestyle media titles. An ardent watch enthusiast, boozehound and sometimes-menswear dork, drop Randy a line at [email protected].

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