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.
Question: When did fashion spark your interest?
Thom Browne: You know honestly I . . . I grew up swimming, and going to school, and that’s all I really worried about growing up. And then through college . . . I don’t know. I didn’t really know what I was going to do after school, so I . . . I went through school. And school wasn’t really my thing. You know I got through, but I knew there was something else that I wanted past what I was actually studying in school. Honestly I don’t even remember, you know, when. Because my . . . talking to actually my mother, she says early on there were definitely things that I used to do that, you know, she remembers that sees how it actually has impacted what I’m doing today. You know past school, it was all like . . . You know I came to New York after school, and it was . . . the city was just the biggest eye-opening experience for me. So in a way, it kind of just evolved into something after I moved . . . I think after I moved really back from L.A. about 10 years ago.
Recorded on: 10/29/07