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Who are you designing for now?
I'm designing for me or men like me from ages 25 to 75. I'm designing for an urban customer, a customer who is aware, men who are very appreciative of details and quality and style and cut and who want to look slim. I mean, everything about my clothes makes you look skinnier. You look skinnier and taller. Those are just things that are important to me. It was always the same with women's too, by the way. I could never make clothes that made a woman look fat, and that's why everyone always said, "Everything he does is about sex, sex, sex." No. I take a body and try to accentuate the things about it that, by our beauty standard, we would appreciate and hide the things that we don't appreciate, and I do the same with men's. So I want to make sure my butt looks good. I want to make sure my thighs look good. I want to make sure my legs look longer. I want to make sure that my waist is in the right spot. You know, proportion is really important.
What is so important in menswear about dressing James Bond?
Why did you go after Daniel Craig?
We did not actually go after Daniel Craig. I had met him a few times in London and offered to dress him, as I think he is very handsome and has a terrific sense of style and a wonderful presence. Since we had been making clothes for him, when it came time for him to do the new Bond film, he asked us to dress him. I could not have been happier, as Bond is an iconic character to dress. Often people think that if you dress in a classic manner, you are dull and live a quiet life. James Bond lives exactly the opposite life. He is the perfect Tom Ford man in that respect.
Who else would you like to see wearing Tom Ford?
I really have been fortunate enough to dress most of the people in the world that I have wanted to dress. I think that Prince Harry would be great to dress, as he has a great look.
What about Barack Obama?
Who would not want to dress Obama? I must say that I think he looks great already simple, clean, understated and always appropriate. He is naturally elegant [as is his wife]. The way he walks and moves is just right. Too much fashion for a presidential candidate would be wrong. His style is perfectly balanced.
Do you have financial goals for the next 10 years?
Yes. We're not making money yet. We're doing very well, and some of our stores are making money. New York is very profitable and making money, but as a whole we've been investing over and over and adding new stores. If we are talking about valuation, then we will reach $1 billion in the next five years. If we are talking about sales, then the 10-year timeline would be correct. Are all the stores owned 100% by you? Or are some of them franchised? No, some of them are franchised in markets where we need partners, like Moscow, for example, and Dubai and Qatar. They are very strict franchise agreements, and they're all the same partners we've worked with before when I was at Gucci, so they know they can't put flowers in the store without it having been run through my office as one of the acceptable types of flowers. So they're very tightly controlled.
Can you give an idea about when you might introduce women's products?
I can't tell you for sure. I can tell you I'm thinking about it. I'm thinking about what I'd do with clothes, but the first step would probably be accessories. I'm not sure I'll even do this. It's two to three years away. If I were to do women's wear tomorrow, I'd have to have an atelier and a sewing room to compete at the level I would want to compete at. After that, I'd need an entire separate design team. I would need new offices to house them. I would need new stores. Just logistically and financially, I could not take it on right now either way, and the women's fashion world is so cruel and so brutal that there is no room for error. No one cuts you any slack ever. It would be too risky for me to even attempt it until I could do it the right way.