Thom Browne on What Dictates 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: Who dictates fashion?

Thom Browne: Who dictates . . . I guess in a . . . in a way I . . . I guess it’s, you know, the consumer does, you know definitely dictate on how . . . on how big fashion ideas become. I mean definitely editors create either trends or say something is, you know, whatever . . . “in or out”, whatever that means. And then . . . but more importantly I would hope that fashion designers just do their own thing and don’t get caught up in who is dictating fashion. Because in a way, especially when I design my collections, I don’t think about that. Everybody kind of creates that after I do what I do because I’m not conscious of creating a trend of creating anything past what is true to me.


Recorded on: 10/29/07