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Tom Ford Talks to Fern Mallis: The Designer Weighs in on Prada, Being a Virgo and Taking Five Baths a Day

An eager crowd of fashion fanatics gathered at the 92nd Street Y last night to watch fashion industry stalwart Fern Mallis interview superstar designer Tom Ford. After starting their conversation with a bit of witty banter (including playful jabs at each others ages) the duo settled into a (semi) serious talk about the designer's prolific career and fascinating life, beginning with his childhood in Texas. Here's some of what he had to say:

On being a Virgo:
"I think the world would be a very scary place if it was run by Virgos. We are perfectionists. I lot of fashion designers are Virgos: Stella McCartney, Karl Lagerfeld…"

On how Texas has influenced his style:
"I still do the cowboy thing. I put a cowboy hat on and I don't look stupid—it's like it just grew there. It's in my genes: I can put on denim, a plaid shirt and a cowboy hat and it looks good."

On what he was like as a young child:
"I wanted to be an adult. I was one of those kids who was never comfortable being a child. I wanted to hang out the adults—hear what they were saying, go to cocktail parities, mix cocktails."

On his one year as an art history major at NYU before dropping out (he later resumed his schooling at Parsons, with a focus in architecture):
"Well I was going to Studio 54 a lot. And you know…"

On the Metropolitan Museum of Art's new Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations exhibit (which opens to the public this coming Thursday May, 10, check out our sneak peek here):
"I'm a huge fan of Miuccia [Prada], she's very smart. Miuccia thinks, she's very thoughtful. The dialogue last night showed what she had gathered from Schiaparelli and how she made it her own. Very smart."

On "making it" in the fashion industry:
"You never make it. Especially in an industry where you constantly have to churn out things. You're never finished."

On taking four to five baths a day:
"If I'm sending emails and I get all wound up and stressed, I just fill the bathtub with hot water and relax for 20 minutes. It's meditative."

photo: Fairchild Archive

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