MANY SHADES OF BROWNE: Glenn O’Brien got Thom Browne to loosen up about his present and his past during a Wednesday-night chat at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Seated before Friends of the Costume Institute in the Petrie Sculpture Garden, Browne recalled how his former boss Giorgio Armani “almost wanted him out” after spotting his supershort attire. Truth be told, the decision to start his own business stemmed from selfish reasons, the designer said. “I didn’t like what was out there. I am not really a very cool guy. I am kind of boring,” he said. “But I wanted to do something different, so people were looking at me — and laughing. There wasn’t a set plan.”

Browne said he actually thought the first collections would have been more well received. “I thought more people were going to like it than I did. I had really good friends saying, ‘Why would I want to wear it, when it doesn’t even seem like it’s fitting you?’”

This story first appeared in the December 9, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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