Posted on www.Advocate.com May 10, 2010
From The Advocate December-January 2010
Tom Ford Tells All
By Kevin Sessums
Ford has now remade himself, as director of A Single Man. Kevin Sessums's frank interview with Ford reveals the extent to which he's shedding his old skin.
"I don't think of myself as gay. That doesn't mean that I'm not gay. I just don't define myself by my sexuality," says Tom Ford with no sense of irony in his voice. Ford built a fashion empire at Gucci. When Yves Saint Laurent was acquired by Gucci in 1999, he reinvented that brand. Since then he has launched his own Tom Ford line of menswear and accessories. Always, throughout his career, whole collections and marketing campaigns were designed around his highly honed sense of the needs of others to define themselves as sexual beings.
"The gay aspect of A Single Man certainly wasn't what drew me to make a film of the Christopher Isherwood book. It was its human aspect, that unifying quality," he continues, segueing into a discussion of his remarkable directorial debut. The film, which was nominated for the Golden Lion top prize at the Venice film festival, and for which Ford won Venice's Queer Lion prize and Colin Firth the best actor award, opens in limited release December 11.
"If you said name 10 things that define me, being gay wouldn't make the list. I think Isherwood was like that too. There are many gay characters in his works because his work is so autobiographical, but their gayness isn't the focus. The one thing I liked about Isherwood's work—especially when I was younger and grappling with my sexuality—is that there was no issue about it in his writing. That was quite a modern concept back during the time when he was writing. Quite honestly, I just don't think about my sexuality. But maybe this has to do with being a part of the first generation to benefit from all the struggles of the gay men and lesbians that came before us."
"Of course I do," he readily admits, a brash honesty having always been one of his most endearing traits. "Usually I'm not even able to frown, but my last injections are wearing off a bit and I am able to frown right now. I'd never get a full face-lift, though. Face-lifts on men are a disaster. But I'm a firm believer in Botox and Restylane. Absolutely. Why not?"