One-Sided Design War: Stefano v. “Not Gifted” Tom


Oooo, girl! The claws come out in Sunday’s New York Times magazine, in which Yves Saint Laurent creative director Stefano Pilati rips his predecessor, Tom Ford.

Of course, the fashion world’s always kneeling down for Ford, who would do it himself if he knew how. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but the ceaseless praise doesn’t necessarily make him the best designer. Not in Pilati’s eyes, at least:

…Pilati doesn’t mince words when he compares the late couturier with Ford, his former boss and immediate predecessor at the house, noting that while Saint Laurent challenged women, “Tom had a very precise vision of the company that didn’t challenge women.”

Pilati told editor at large Lynn Hirschberg that “Tom is talented but not gifted. That’s the way he managed the business. Tom would say: ‘We can’t do this silhouette because she looks fat.’ Or, ‘Oh, no – women don’t like this fabric; we can’t use it.’ That mentality was something to learn but was so far from my way of thinking. Why do you want to be safe? I’m more like: Why don’t you wear gray flannel for an evening dress? I find that fantastic! Not Tom, never.”

Tom Ford, we’re sure, doesn’t give a damn.