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LONDON — Tom Ford’s new beauty collection is an ambitious one that incorporates color cosmetics and skin care, but his approach to beauty is surprisingly simple.
“I don’t like B.S. and a lot of promises, and there are a lot of products out there you don’t even need,” said the designer during an interview at his grand showroom and offices next door to Phillips de Pury & Co. in central London. “My brain works in the same way whatever I do. The approach is practical, architectural and I use the same vocabulary whether I’m designing clothing or color cosmetics.”
Ford said he’d wanted to do color for a long time — as far back as when he was creative director at Gucci. Even when he founded his signature brand in 2005, the time still wasn’t right for a launch. “My intention was to do color cosmetics out of the gate, but not everyone else was convinced that I had a voice in color until the lipsticks started selling out again and again,” he said, referring to the Private Blend Lip Color Collection, a group of 12 ultrapigmented colors that launched last year.
“I’ve cared about cosmetics and makeup since I was a kid,” said Ford, who recalls coming home from school in the mid-Seventies, grabbing a box of cereal, and tuning into Merv Griffin’s talk show. He remembers being riveted by Griffin’s more glamorous guests, the Hollywood modeling agent Nina Blanchard, and Vidal and Beverly Sassoon. But not all of those after-school pursuits were benign: Ford recalls an experiment with cucumber slices that took a sinister turn. “When I was 14, I had to be taken to the emergency room because the cucumber slices I had put on my eyes — to camouflage the bags — had made them swell shut. I could eat cucumbers, but my eyes were clearly allergic to them,” he says, wondering aloud what his mother, Shirley, must have thought, seeing her son lying in the bathtub with salad greens on his face.
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