Thom Browne on Self-Expression

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: Can your designs be someone else’s self-expression?

Thom Browne: I would hope. Because in a way, my collections and what I do, it’s a real representation and a true picture of who I am as a person. My collections are really personal, and I love everything about every collection and what I do. But I do really want people to personalize it and take it on their own. And you know I don’t really wanna see people, you know, almost become like a clone of what . . . you know, how I wear it. I like people to have their own kind of personality and give their own personality to it. And I would hope that they do. I hope it doesn’t take too . . . it doesn’t play too much a part on who you are or your identity. In a way I feel like it should almost be something that you’re really comfortable wearing. It is the best for you, you look the best in it; but when you put it on it almost goes away. Because I don’t think that should be the thing that walks in the room before you. I think you should be the one that really walks into the room, and they happen to see that you look kind of good.


Recorded on: 10/29/07