Ford on the Record: Tom Blasts Weinberg, Gucci Team Strategy

In a candid and wide-ranging interview, Tom Ford shares more than a few words on his Gucci life, the big exit and what’s next.

WWD: Do you think they have the ability to become stars?

TF: Everyone at Gucci and all of my team I think are incredibly talented. The three people that have been mentioned are people I have worked very closely with. John Ray I have worked with the longest, about seven or eight years. He’s a terrific guy and incredibly talented. But the strategy is one that I don’t agree with at all. The strategy of three different voices working at one brand, I don’t understand that. It’s really that there is a point of view. There is a vision today that is a summation of the last 10 years of my saying yes to this and no to that. There is a personality. There is a point of view and it is consistent. You can like it or not like it, but it is a point of view. I was amused by Serge’s comments about Miuccia. [Weinberg said in The Wall Street Journal Europe earlier this week that “no one talks about Miuccia Prada. No one knows it’s she who designs the brand.”]

Quite honestly, I wasn’t amused, I was shocked. Unfortunately, I think that this is a very sort of clear indication of how naïve Serge is about our industry. Miuccia has a point of view, a vision with a purpose. Not only am I a great fan of what she does from a design standpoint, but a great fan in terms of the way she has been able to pinpoint her vision with Prada.

Which is also why, I have to say, I don’t quite understand a team strategy at Gucci. First of all, we have left out a few product categories here. I mean, what’s happening with watches, what’s happening with eyewear? What’s happening with jewelry, with home, with visual display? What’s happening with the ad campaigns? I mean, there are a lot of things that aren’t addressed by the people whose names have been mentioned.

It’s just a completely different business model, and I personally don’t think it’s an acceptable business model for a luxury fashion brand. I really think that a fashion brand has to have a single, focused point of view.
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