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  1. #1

    Default Tom Ford: Black sheep of the industry?

    Just wondering. I'm not too familiar with his history with YSL, Gucci, etc. but it looks like a lot of the scents that were done under his direction (and the Estee Lauder collaboration) are being/were discontinued by those houses.
    Is he not well-liked in the industry? I don't doubt that he is talented but is he a renegade who has a fight with everyone before leaving?
    It's just an impression I get. Or have I misunderstood?
    I was wondering if fellow Basnoters who are more knowledgeable might be able to inform us a little bit about this.
    Thanks!
    RM

  2. #2

    Default Re: Tom Ford: Black sheep of the industry?

    Here's a really good quote from an older thread about Tom Ford that I enjoyed reading. His vulgar and cocky attitude doesn't bother me. I think he's somewhat talented.

    Quote Originally Posted by Serpent View Post
    Tom Ford is not, and never has been, a true designer. He's more of a fashion conceptualist. Actually, he's an just opportunist who came along at the right place and time, fresh off the heels of a failed modeling career and fast-talked his way into passing off others' fashion ideas (mainly Halston and Yves Saint Laurent) as his own. He can't sew or really draw; he mainly oversaw teams of real designers who implement his ideas.

    His biggest talent was for promotion. After the austerity of the early 1990s, he knew the raw, sweaty sex he brought to Gucci would capture people's imagination. (Think of it: People were very rarely actually wearing much in the way of clothes in his "clothing" ads, a strategy other companies like Abercrombie & Fitch have since picked up on.) Again, the right place at the right time. But that wore thin after awhile, and Gucci got repetitive, especially after he turned Yves Saint Laurent into Gucci II. (Yves Saint Laurent actually closed his haute couture house rather than allow Ford to get his hands on it.) He's so limited, his final collection for Gucci was an homage to himself, a repetition of his old designs, which were, for the most part, a regurgitation of other designers' works.

    I look at the Estée Lauder counters here in town, and many still have stocks of Youth Dew Amber Nude, which many sales associates told me would be sold out "any day" back last Christmas. And it's almost August now. I suspect I could probably find someone to ghost up a bottle of Amber Nude for me if I wanted to give it as a gift next Christmas. It just didn't seem to capture the public's imagination. Just like the Azurée oil doesn't seem to be. And M7 didn't. And Rive Gauche pour Homme and the relaunched Rive Gauche didn't. And Gucci Eau de Parfum didn't. Even Cinéma hasn't taken the world by storm. Tom Ford has a wooden nose when it comes to scents for the masses. And while each of these scents has their packs of supporters here, they also have nearly as many detractors.

    I think claiming the scents are for "perfume connoisseurs" is Ford's way of saying they're for they're for "people who like my odd, thick, dusky fragrances that are proven to be uncommercial and who have too much money and too little sense to realize that almost no one's wearing the scents I made at Estée Lauder, YSL, and Gucci anyway."
    Last edited by nsamadi; 2nd July 2008 at 08:03 AM.

  3. #3

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    Default Re: Tom Ford: Black sheep of the industry?

    I never cared much for the clothes or the attitude (and therefore not much for him) until I sampled Black Orchid. I've tried three from his fragrance line now...Black Orchid, Black Violet and Velvet Gardenia, and I love all of them. I think they're wonderful fragrances, unexpected, fresh (as in a fresh idea), complex yet approacheable (for me). I never cared for his Estee Lauder fragrances.

    As regards cocky, self promoting, conceptualist "artists" who don't actually make art but rather have teams of workers putting their ideas into material form for them - that's certainly nothing new. It doesn't really bother me.

  4. #4

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    Default Re: Tom Ford: Black sheep of the industry?

    Well, I find his adverts appalling and just plain gross, but I really love (and own) Cinema and Nu. In fact, everytime I wear Nu, I get at least 3 compliments. It's incredible. People nearby who don't think it's perfume (it's not at all with the fashion these days), sniff the air, and say, "What's that good smell? What am I smelling that's so good?" I've heard this so many times where I work, it's like a running joke. Cinema is delicate and lovely, and I like Black Orchid, too, though it's not my style. Moss Breeches is brilliant, but doesn't last long enough for me to spring for a whole bottle. Can't stand the man, love his perfumes.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Tom Ford: Black sheep of the industry?

    Tom Ford, the same man who concocted Gucci pour homme, a beautiful scent, affordable, goes on to fame by releasing 12 different scents at once, prices them stratospherically, puts himself in store on 5th Ave. and has got his nose turned up at customers so as to make Bijan look like a street vendor.

    I'll pick up some over stock of Tuscan Leather someday. Maybe.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Tom Ford: Black sheep of the industry?

    Some good comments already.

    I personally think TF is not a 'black sheep' of the industry - he's just like many fashion designers who've released fragrances. He happens to have his own 'style' of doing things (in business, in ads, in his personal life), but then so do a lot of designers (Lagerfeld, Alexander McQueen, etc).

    There are TF scents I love (Rive Gauche Pour Homme, Black Orchid, Tuscan Leather) and those I hate (M7, Nu, Tom Ford for Men). I think my love/hate has much less to do with the name on the bottle & more to do with the juice inside the bottle.
    "One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple"

    -- Jack Kerouac

  7. #7

    Default Re: Tom Ford: Black sheep of the industry?

    Thanks for the comments so far. Very enlightening.
    My question is not so much about the opinions of the consumer (as in Mike's, which I agree with) but more of how those houses felt about him (his legacy or style) after he left. Were some of the scents discontinued really because they were not commercially successful or just out of spite?
    There may be other products too that I'm not aware of. Of course no business would discontinue a product for those reasons if it's hugely successful but it seemed to me like there was a pattern.
    RM

  8. #8
    Morning Star

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    Default Re: Tom Ford: Black sheep of the industry?

    First I have to admit that I like quite a bit many of the fragrances Tom Ford has done. Gucci Pour Homme, M7, Tom Ford For Men (Extreme and otherwise), and Oud Wood are all very good. As far as his arrogance is concerned, it has been demonstrated from time immemorial that if you act as if you're hot sh*t, you'll very often be treated that way by lots of people. I guess this reveals a severe weakness in human judgment and herd mentality, but there you have it. That's what marketing is all about. More power to him.

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