NEW YORK: The biggest event on the fashion calendar has arrived to town. Ushering in designers, supermodels and the who’s-who in the industry, New York Fashion Week is seeing the latest Autumn/Winter 2019 collections from designers pegged all around the world. Today, it was American fashion designer Tom Ford’s turn to front the critics with a slew of mens and womens, ready-to-wear pieces.
After having worked as Creative Director for Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent, Tom Ford broke out in 2006 with his very own eponymous luxury brand. Since then, the designer has become a household name to the elite (reportedly worth $300 million) garnering a respected line of customers, known to love his classic tailoring and timeless style. Autumn/Winter 2019 was no different, but how has it gone down in the current landscape, built on a culture of hype?
Like collections in years past, Ford presented his latest line on a clean, monochromatic setting. The first looks to file onto the runway came in the form of soft feminine silhouettes, satin-sheens and tonal dressing that continued for the remainder of the show, weaved in with men’s attire. A sharp contrast to that of the women’s looks, male models stormed the runway in full leather suits, velvet, pinstripes and bold outerwear. Despite a strong nod to the ’90s – is anyone else reminded of the Matrix – the overall aesthetic was kept simple and timeless, just as Tom Ford likes it.
While print had its 30-seconds, and new-season frames and leather gloves finished off the ensembles, it had seemed like something was missing. The obnoxious logos? The oversized sneakers? The neon print? Huh… how will anyone know what they’re wearing I thought sarcastically. When viewing the collection live from my tiny Instagram feed, a swirling thought had entered my conscious. How will Tom Ford stack up against the current hype culture, and is it relevant in 2019?
Short answer: Yes, by giving the customer what they want. In the grand scheme of things, 13 years as a standalone brand isn’t a huge feat, not when you compare its heritage against the likes of Louis Vuitton, Dior and Burberry. But what the American fashion house has done differently to increase its attractive quality, is beginning its empire in a modern industry. In the past two years all three international brands have seen a disruption if you will, overhauling its aesthetic to draw in a younger generation. The quick way to do that of course, jump in with the street crowd.
Not before long, namely SS/19, Burberry had entered the sportswear realm, Louis Vuitton dipped into neon paint and Dior teamed up with young creatives for collaborative capsules. All were highly successful, but shaping back when the industry makes its cyclical 10-year turn will prove interesting. I’m no Wall-street expert, but aren’t we due for a recession?
Ford has dabbled in sneakers and bold prints in an effort to stay relevant, but his knack for luxury tailoring, cult-buy sunglasses, fragrance always hold strong, remaining stedfast in wearability. If that isn’t enough proof, his endless list of clients for sporting events and red carpets is more valuable than any influencer campaign could lend to a brand like his. With a smaller, but loyal following of sartorial soldiers, the Tom Ford reign will push on in a saturated sea of logos, at least for now.
Because if Celine is anything to go by, don’t fix it if its not broke.