Thom Browne on Art vs. Fashion

Thom Browne is a New York based men's fashion designer. After graduating Notre Dame, Browne moved to Los Angeles to try his hand at acting. Though he landed a few commercials, he wasn't terribly successful. He realized his true calling was in fashion, and in 1997 moved to New York. His first job was as a salesman in Giorgio Armani's showroom; he moved to Club Monaco's design and merchandising departments before launching his own label in 2001.

Browne's designs are something of a throwback to a pre-business casual era: New York Magazine has described his work as evoking "a fetishized, black-and-white-movie masculinity." The Council of Fashion Designers of America awarded Browne 2006 Menswear Designer of the Year. Browne designs with a very specific impression in mind: "It's a very nice, very Continental, very charming world," he says.

  • Transcript


Question: Is fashion art?

Thom Browne: Not really. I see it more as a craft. I really feel like when you do something and you, you pay attention to more, like . . . The quality of it is sometimes equally as fashionable as the actual ideas. I really see it more . . . more as a craft than an art. I think in a way how you present it can then become some type of installation kind of art, but I don’t think of what I do as actual art. I think that makes . . . I like to keep it . . . I think of it a little more simply because I really attribute the quality and how things are made a lot more to the fashion than I think a lot of people do.


Recorded on: 10/29/07