Posted by Sara Zucker on October 26, 2009 09:05 AM
As many designers are left flailing in an ocean of depression, Tom Ford is stepping on the ferryboat.
The ex-Gucci and YSL creative director, who has lately focused on menswear (and filmmaking), recently confirmed to WWD that he will soon try a return to womenswear. Yes, you heard right, he's doing both sexes.
With an expected fall 2010 launch date, Ford and his business partner, Dominco De Sole, are still looking for financial backing. But is a venture such as this feasible in our current dark times?
“Financing is extremely expensive right now, so if we find financing in the right situation we’ll be able to start [a women’s collection] soon. If we don’t, we may have to wait a while,” Gucci’s former creative director told WWD in an interview from a 50th floor suite of the Park Hyatt Hotel with an expansive view of the city skyline.
The requisite $50 million is steep, especially with the 18-month waiting period it would to get the line off the ground. It will be interesting to see if he has any takers.
“Our clothes are expensive but they’re as beautifully made as clothes can be made in today’s world, and so I think people perceive that value. They don’t just feel disposable; they don’t feel like an empty trend,” he said. “Our customer has been a little bit insulated, meaning of course they’ve lost money like everyone else, but they’re still in a much better position than other people. They may not be buying a new apartment or a new painting, but they’re still buying clothes.”
Ford is taking a real step in expanding his brand rather than downsizing and/or going the fast fashion route of so many of his compatriots -- from Stella McCartney to Liz Claiborne, and with partners as random as the Home Shopping Network -- by collaborating on a line with a mass manufacturer.