Time Out Hong Kong caught up with Tom Ford to discuss his upcoming film (he mainly kept mum), pressures of the fashion industry and losing perspective (he now flies "on some commercial planes") and the industry's obsession with China.
Writer Kawai Wong asked Ford about his decision to cast top Asian models Liu Wen and Du Juan in his spring/summer presentation, to which Ford responded, "Well, both of them I don't know very well personally, so I chose them for pure physical beauty. Women with strong character. With strong look." And when pressed further by Wong -- "Do you think people regard these Chinese women as beautiful because of their perceived Western features?" -- Ford remarked:
No. I think, and don't take this the wrong way, all of your questions have a very odd racist slant, because you have grown up here. And don't take that the wrong way; it's not a negative thing at all. Honestly, growing up in America and Europe, I don't think as racially as the questions you are asking.
But I was talking about the Western perceptions of beauty in the Asian face. The yardstick that people measure or judge beauty...
[Interjecting again] I find a lot of different women beautiful. Some women, you know...I hate Jewish girls having their noses done. [...] I see beauty, or maybe less beauty. But within every race there are very beautiful examples.
Some other tidbits from the sit-down...
On whether his line will fit everybody:
Well, I have to say if we have to talk about things like this, Americans are too fat. And in London they are starting to get fat too. So I have to say that if we have to talk about race system and nationalism, I find it refreshing that everyone [who is] Chinese is slim. The only thing we changed [at Gucci] was the width of the nose bridge on eyeglasses because it won't fit an Asian nose if it's made for someone's nose like mine.
On having children:
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.