Thom Browne
Founder and Head Designer, Thom Browne Menswear

Thom Browne on Fashion and Globalization

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Browne says we are past the point of no return.

Thom Browne

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: Is there a global style?

Thom Browne: Yeah. The world . . . I think the world has become a really small place because it is. I mean you can see everything about anyone. The Internet has kind of really brought the whole world into . . . into everyone’s living room. So I think it is. It’s very universal. Everything has become very small.

Question: Will we see a resurgence of local styles?

Thom Browne: I don’t know. I think we’ve . . . I think we’ve passed the point of like returning, so . . . No. I think it’ll . . . I think it’ll always be accessible to everyone in regard to this . . . you know, the style of . . . I think in a way there will always be . . . I think the memories of that true American style that was, for me, that ‘50s and ‘60s sack suit from Brooks Brothers. I mean that was a true American style. But in a way there’s a lot of people that have adopted that right now. And it’s the same thing with designers here in America – you know the European influences. I think we’ve gone past the point of like . . . Unless you really pull back and wanna do it, I think the world has become very universal in that way.