Tom Ford Speaks on John Galliano, Industry Pressure

Speaking to Time Out HK, Tom Ford has commented on the pressure that some designers face which can lead to drugs and depression - a pressure which he says he once faced himself. Tom says he can relate to the designers who suffer under pressure and can begin to feel isolated after a time:

"Well I certainly relate, First of all, I brought Alexander McQueen to Gucci Group and I loved him and he's a true, true artist. I do understand that pressure, because I used to have it at Gucci. You work for a large company like that and it's three billion dollars a year in business. And if you do a bad collection, the company's sale drops dramatically. And the other thing is that everyone who works for that company gets their pride from feeling proud of the products that are created. If you have a bad collection and it's reviewed badly and it's not selling the pride and the whole company drops and you feel responsible for it.

With the work at Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent I couldn't have gone on much longer because I was designing 16 collections a year and I was the vice chairman of the company and was working in the acquisitions committee, bringing in Stella McCartney and buying all these different brands and designing collections. There was enormous pressure and you have to be very strong. And you become isolated.

Even though I really helped build Gucci from nothing to where it was, well, as that happened you become isolated because you're like a racehorse. People just say: 'Keep 'em happy! Keep 'em happy!' because they want you to keep working. They want to get more out of you. You need to perform, perform, perform."

Speaking on John Galliano, Tom says that he believes the designer is troubled:

"I don't want to comment. [on Galliano] I know John, I like John a lot, obviously he's very troubled. I feel very sorry for him. Historically, Yves Saint Laurent had drug problems. A lot of different fashion designers had drugs and alcohol problems. It's a very tough, tough, tough business. You have to be very strong."

On fatherhood, Tom says that he would have loved to have children, but would never use a child to get media attention:

"I always said I wanted to have children, and as I got a little bit older, Richard, who I live with - we've been together 24 years - did not want children. And so I decided not to have children. But if I have children, no one will know about it until the child is born. And no one will ever see the child because I certainly wouldn't use it as a press tool. If I have a child, you won't notice that I had a child. Maybe you'll see it when it's 18, but I will keep it out of the spotlight. I wouldn't use it as a press tool, as some people I know have recently."

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