A Day in the Life of: Tom Ford

If you know your designers, you would certainly know this man. He’s been designing your Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent suits for the last 20 years. (Ps: Yves Saint Laurent, YSL is now known as Saint Laurent as of this year. Please read the article written by Business of Fashion on this change as it will give you a great insight into the world of fashion/designing).

You may not know this also, but Tom Ford also directed the very cool, hip and intense film, ‘A Single Man‘ which MSP wrote about at its preview. Widely regarded as one of fashion’s most notable (and private) contemporary designer, Tom Ford has now allowed a documentary film to be made about him.  “You know I’ve never let anyone film me like this before,” Ford says into the camera, highlighting the unprecedented access that director Michael Bonfiglio was given for the documentary.


After Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent, Ford found further success with the launch of his eponymous label. In recent seasons, the designer eschewed runway shows in favour of über-private presentations for select members of the press. Shy, discreet – Or fearful of failure? A perfectionist? Maybe.

In the documentary, Ford opens up about his “gruelling” work at Gucci, the motivations between making his Oscar-nominated film A Single Man, and contemporary notions of beauty. Check out the trailer for this must-watch documentary.

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF: TOM FORD

Most of us live a ‘work’ life, opposed to doing what we love. Yes yes yes, we’ve all read ‘Do what you love and the money will follow’ – alas, many a Gentleman can get bogged down in the detail and the ‘daily’ and not get to what he truly loves doing. If anything is going to inspire you, have a read of Tom Ford’s daily schedule below. I will promise you will feel ambitious afterwards!

We’re talking about a man who is conscious about his health, his tailoring, his life, his loves and his friends. Values which are present in all that he does.

The Man Himself!

4:30am: “I never really sleep much and often start my day at this time. When I am very lucky and sleep through the night, I might get up at 7am, but that is rare. The first thing I do when I get out of bed is weigh myself. I do this every morning, and if I have gained more than two or three pounds [0.9-1.3 kilograms], I try to eat fruit and vegetables exclusively for a couple of days until my weight is back to my ideal. I make myself a tall glass of iced espresso (I don’t like warm drinks), get into a hot bath, and slowly sip my drink as I come to life. Often I lie in the tub for a half hour and just let my mind wander. I find a bath meditative and usually prepare myself for the day in this manner. Once out of the tub, I throw on my gym clothes.”

MSP: Why is Tom’s bath at 4.30am so important? This is his ‘creative’ time. Your mind moves in and out of three major brainwaves. Beta brainwaves, think of busy where your brain goes into your logical and practical state. Auto-pilot. Alpha, this is where the creativity gets stirred. You’ll find this happens when you’re relaxed, laughing or staring into space. And Delta, when you’re going into REM.
8am: “Typically, I answer my emails. On average, I get about 100 emails per day. Then I do a bit of work before working out with my trainer at 8am. The home page on my computer is set to the Daily Beast Cheat Sheet, an excellent summary of the news of the day from different publications around the world. I work out at a gym at home with Pilates equipment, cardio equipment and free weights. I usually do about 30 to 45 minutes of cardio and then a half hour of crunches, push-ups, stretching and other exercises using my own body weight, as I can tend to bulk up quickly if I use weights more than occasionally.”

MSP:  Exercising in the morning is the most productive time of the day. You can see here that Tom makes time for himself first. His health and his de-stressed state are what makes him tick with the energy that he needs for the rest of the 10 hours he’s working. You can’t give, unless you have something to give. Making sure you’re fit and fired up to get the most out of your day is a smart way to work.

9:15am: “After working out, I have a breakfast of wholegrain muesli or bran cereal, half a banana and several slices of pineapple. Then I take another bath, this time with soap, and wash my hair. Naturally, I use my own beauty products; I wash my face with either my cream cleanser if my skin feels dry or gel cleanser if my skin feels particularly oily. I then trim my beard and brush my hair into place. I use my daily moisturiser. I put on my “uniform”: a white shirt, a dark tie, a gold collar pin, a black or dark-grey single-breasted peaked-lapel suit and black cap-toed shoes. I wear a variation of this look every day that I am in a city. (My other uniforms are for Santa Fe, Mustique, or a ski resort.)

“I carry my computer and other work to the office in one of my black leather bags. Because I rarely walk in London, I never wear a coat. Actually, I tend to walk much more in New York. In LA and Santa Fe, I drive. I have a driver in London because I am slightly dyslexic and cannot drive in the UK; after all, the traffic runs the opposite way to that in the United States. An International Herald Tribune is always waiting for me; I find it the perfect newspaper for me — quite condensed with quick global perspective on the news. Reading or skimming, the paper usually takes me precisely the same time that it takes for me to get from my house to my office. I don’t carry a phone with me because I hate talking on the phone and especially hate talking on [mobile] phones. I do have an iPhone, but I use it primarily for music and as a camera. In an emergency, of course, I use it as a phone. I am not really even sure what my number is. I have an iPad but use it just for reading books or screenplays, and I carry my MacBook Air with me everywhere.”

10am: “I usually arrive at the office by 10. I have a weakness for doughnuts and often completely ruin my diet by eating a doughnut or two when I arrive.

“As president and CEO of the company, I spend a good bit of my day in business and design meetings. These might be women’s ready-to-wear fittings, men’s fittings, handbag-prototype reviews, footwear fittings, jewellery-design meetings, cosmetics meetings or eyewear meetings. I tend to work on several different product categories on the same day. My executive team is scattered around the world, in London, New York, Los Angeles, Milan, Florence, Hong Kong and Tokyo offices. Consequently, our meetings are often via Skype.”

1pm: “I hate going out for lunch during a workday because it slows down my pace and ruins my rhythm. I prefer to eat at my desk. Actually, I wander around the design studio with a plate in my hand as I dine on, for example, salmon sashimi and a salad of tomatoes and mozzarella. I often have a bit of dark chocolate after lunch.”

6pm: “Most nights I work at the office until any time between 6pm and 8pm, depending on whether or not I have to go out for dinner. If I do have to go out at night, which I do about four nights a week, I try to take a 45-minute nap, have another hot bath and put on a clean shirt.”

8pm: “I am not someone who likes cocktail parties or large dinner parties, but I have to attend them often. I much prefer very small dinners with close friends. I eat at the same restaurants in London most nights: Scott’s, No. 35, J. Sheekey, Mark’s Club, Harry’s Bar or Cut at 45 Park Lane. If I am meeting someone for drinks first, I always like to go to The Fumoir at Claridge’s. My favourite evenings are actually spent at home having dinner in the kitchen with my partner and the dogs.”

10:30pm: “When we come home from a night out, it is often I walk the dogs around Grosvenor Square and then head up to bed. Believe it or not, I usually take another hot bath and wash my face. The television (usually things we have recorded) may go on, or we read and then go to sleep. I don’t wear anything in bed. In fact, I rarely wear clothes at all when I am at home.”

Midnight: “I am usually in bed and with any luck will get a few hours of sleep!”

2013 Campaign Shot

2013 Campaign Shot

Tom Ford modelling his eyewear

Did you know Tom Ford designed all of James Bond’s menswear in SkyFall?