NEW YORK — Tom Ford, the sequel, is all about uberluxury, quality and personalized service.
Ford has spent the last 12 months sculpting a brand that is pure and perfect Tom, and he is now ready to unveil his vision with a three-story, 8,680-square-foot boutique opening at 845 Madison Avenue on Thursday.
But just what is Tom Ford about without the setting of a luxury leather goods house or le smoking? From the cast-bronze crocodile reception desk and chair in the entrance to the numerous bespoke ateliers, the butlers and maids roaming the luxurious space and clothing details such as a button-down pants cuff that can be unflapped for a quick brush, Ford is aiming to create a new version of luxury.
He is presenting a complete luxury brand from men's ready-to-wear, and custom-made tailoring to leather goods and other accessories — made in a production deal with Ermenegildo Zegna — as well as eyewear and fragrance. The radical approach to go from zero to 100 miles an hour — with the exception of beauty and eyewear teasers — may raise a few eyebrows, but Ford knows a thing or two about building a brand. Plus, to those who know fashion, Tom Ford has long been a de facto brand and always was a factor in his reinventions of Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent.
"This is the new incarnation of it, and the official incarnation," he said. "I gave a big part of myself to what I did at Gucci and Saint Laurent, and then, when I left, I took that with me. You would walk in here and be able to see certain similarities."
The William Sofield-created store is largely in shades of burnished pale gray and sable brown, with suede walls, leather furniture, beaver rugs, macassar ebony fixtures and art pieces, some of which come from Ford's own homes and others that have been newly commissioned for the space. Ford said he has been thinking about the importance of service ever since he left Gucci Group in 2004.
"I didn't know what to wear," the designer recalled. "I spent time shopping and I thought there's nothing out there that is right for me. Everything was too trendy, and the quality wasn't great, so I went to a Savile Row tailor, which is a very dry experience. You go into a little room, and they yank a little curtain and you sit on a little stool. There's no romance that goes into it."
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