MILAN — Any doubt of Tom Ford’s global appeal was quickly squelched last week following a special appearance here at La Rinascente department store. More than 1,000 admirers surged the fragrance floor of the luxury retailer on Wednesday night just to snap photos of the American designer.
Ford, in his only public appearance for the worldwide launch of his first men’s scent, Tom Ford For Men, indulged the masses by signing bottles, air kissing and posing for cell-phone photos for close to two hours.
“It’s always great when people turn out and respond to what you’re doing and show you they like what you do,” Ford told DNR. “It’s also always a little surprising.”
The official European launch follows the successful American one, where the clean but sensual fragrance broke a new sales record for men’s scents at Saks Fifth Avenue. La Rinascente sold more than 500 bottles during the event.
Ford has proven himself a master of olfactory. His first fragrance, Black Orchid, with his beauty licensee Estée Lauder, continues to outperform plan, while his 12-scent collection, Private Blend, has proven a challenge to keep in stock. “It is a constant, consistent stream of sales,” Ford said of the custom juices, adding that although more units of Tom Ford For Men are being sold within his New York store, Private Blend accounts for more dollar sales.
Ford’s aggressive foray into beauty is set to expand. The designer hinted that a men’s skincare and grooming line was in the pipeline, but declined to give specifics.
The Texan may have been in Milan for the launch, but true to his multitasking ways, he was also firming up details on his second eponymous store set to open here in the city’s fashion quadrilateral.
Ford will take over the former Ermenegildo Zegna store on Via Verri, just off of Via Montenapoleone. Neighbors include Canali, Dsquared, Jil Sander and Berluti. Construction on the 10,000-square-foot space is set to begin early next year, and an opening is expected for early summer 2008.
“It’s bigger than the New York store, and we’ll have not only more selling space, but more stock space as well,” Ford said.
While the Milan boutique will pull from the design sensibility of the Madison Avenue flagship, Ford said, the architecture would also reflect the Milanese spirit of the multiple-floor, Fascist-era palazzo.
Milan is just one of many retail initiatives. Come spring, Ford will truly turn global as Harrods dedicates what may become the largest in-store shop in its history to the Tom Ford brand.
Ford said Bergdorf Goodman has also allotted an impressive amount of real estate to his label. His other U.S. retail partner, Neiman Marcus, will introduce the collection in five locations this spring. Ford said the collection would eventually expand to 10 Neiman’s stores.
Ford added that he also signed a lease for the second Tom Ford store in the U.S., but declined to say where.A series of stores are under construction in the Middle East, Moscow and Hong Kong. As reported, Ford expects to open 100 stores over the next eight years. “The time is now,” Ford said.
“Because of the fact that I am a known entity, and because of the fact of my age and because of the fact that in fashion, when you have the right thing at the right time, you have to really go with it, there’s no reason to wait around.”
Ford hasn’t stopped since he plotted his return to fashion more than two years ago. He’s been traveling extensively, observing the men’s market and formulating his own ideas of where luxury is moving.
Like most executives in the fashion industry, Ford’s incredibly bullish on China where he’ll partner with Lane Crawford as well as roll out his own stores.
“China is really going to be the future for men’s wear and the future for luxury,” Ford said. “This is a society that has a history of being very materialistic, and they’ve been denied materialism for a long time. Whether we like it or hate it, it is also a patriarchal society ... when these men make money, the first thing they do is put it on themselves.”
“What he has done at Vuitton is really exceptional,” said @gameofthrones’ actress Gwendoline Christie on @mrkimjones’ final show for @louisvuitton. “He has rebooted luxury in terms of making it commercial, viable and contemporary. And most importantly artistic. He has never compromised his artistic vision for the sake of commodity.” (📷: @zefashioninsider)
After seeing a demand for men’s wear from its customers, British contemporary women’s wear label @ariesarise has added a men’s wear component and will launch a unisex collection with @mrporterlive. The 20-piece collection includes jackets, denim, logo T-shirts and more with deconstructed ‘90s vibes. Set to launch on January 18, you can shop the pieces on Aries’ website and on mrporter.com. #wwdfashion
“And so spending so much time with a character who thinks like that, inevitability you try and analyze yourself and go back and think about your own demons and dark chapters that you had in your life,” says @thedanielbruhl of his role in TNT’s “The Alienist.” The show, set in the Gilded Age of New York, also stars Dakota Fanning and Luke Evans. Head to WWD.com to read about how 39-year-old Brühl prepared for the role and why he thinks the show is so relevant to today #wwdeye ( 📷: @Eriktanner)
Now that Celine Dion’s collection has topped $10 million in sales, the pop superstar, fashion icon and newly-minted industry player is eyeing growth in Asia. Read the full report by @tiffanyap, link in bio. #wwdnews #celinedion
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
Among the familiar faces at @off____white’s show was a surprise figure: Japanese artist @takashipom, pictured here on Wednesday morning. Other show-goers included @jerrylorenzo, who spoke about his upcoming project: a @nike collaboration for back to school, with designs inspired by his childhood on the West Coast. Sitting in the front row were Future, Don Crawley, @miguel and more. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: Stephane Feugere)
According to @laurentsai, former “Terrace House: Aloha State” cast member, she didn’t know she was auditioning for the Japanese version of “Real World.” “I was telling a couple of my friends and someone’s like, ‘That sounds a lot like Terrace House.’ I was like, ’No it can’t be.’” Turns out, it was. But Tsai isn’t just a reality star — she’s an illustrator who has worked with Starbucks Japan and most recently, she’s dipping her toes into the fashion world. Head to WWD.com to read about her time on the show, modeling and her art. #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
More changes are coming to New York Fashion Week: Beginning with the spring 2019 collection, @alexanderwangny will move his New York show to June from September, adopting a biannual schedule with collections shown in June and December. Additionally, the @cfda is planning for an official summer/winter fashion season taking place as soon as June and December 2018. Read more about the upcoming changes on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @slovekinpics)