The fashion maven’s eponymous label might be predicted to soon turn over $1 billion a year, but the former Gucci creative director hasn’t always had it so easy and says his setbacks – like his critically-panned spring/summer 2012 collection – have made him more driven.
He told The Business of Fashion: “I thrive on failure. I thrive on things that are not perfect. It sends me back into the ring to get it right. About three seasons ago, we started focusing things more, and I think the two collections we did previous to this last one were really good and I had great press coverage … but no one saw them.”
After establishing his own company in 2004 and focusing primarily on menswear, Tom realised he needed to branch out into womanswear in 2010 in order to create a global brand.
He explained: “It wasn’t that it wasn’t appealing. I’ve been a fashion designer for 25 years, and I was doing 16 collections a year. It wasn’t specifically clothes, it was just kind of the entire industry.
“I was very worn out from having generated all of that. I think the women’s fashion business is probably the hardest, toughest business in the world.”
The in-demand designer – whose fans include Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake – made his directorial debut with the critically-acclaimed ‘A Single Man’ in 2009, and hopes to continue exploring both his passion for fashion and film in the future.
Tom mused: “I don’t have to think about it yet, because we are just at the tipping point. I’m still only 52. I do know that I want to work ’til the day I drop dead.
“I might not be doing exactly what I’m doing now, but absolutely I’ll be working until the day I die. I might be making a movie, I might be doing something else, but I will be getting up and doing something.”