YSL to Tom Ford: You Destroyed 40 Years of My Career

CNN isn’t usually a source of fashion shockers, but on Wednesday, CNN’s Talk Asia aired an interview with Tom Ford, ostensibly about his expansion plans in Asia, that turned out to be much more candid than we expected. Yes, a fair amount of his trademark pompousness does seep through (“I don’t work for money any longer. I’m fortunate enough not to need to work for money, but I work for pride. I work because I love to work”). And yes, he does take another jab at daily and dot-com journalists. But he also revealed an intriguing new thread in the old yarn regarding Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé‘s dislike, to put it mildly, of Ford’s work at the storied house. Says Ford:

“[Yves Saint Laurent] was supportive at the beginning. He loved the fact that we were buying the company, and he loved the fact that I was designing, and he had been very complimentary of my work at Gucci. We were quite friendly, and had dinner a few times, and my first collection, I had him up to show it to him. Our business was doubling and doubling and doubling, and when I started to get great press and the business started to become very successful, Yves became really quite hostile. I have letters that he wrote to me about it, you know: ‘In 13 minutes on the runway you have destroyed 40 years of my career.’ I am really happy I have them—they are written in his own hand. When I’m 85, maybe I’ll put them in a book—if anyone cares.”

Handwritten letters? Destroyed career? Yikes. Let’s face it, that’s pretty devastating stuff, even for Tom Ford at the peak of his career. We get the feeling Monsieur wouldn’t have liked anything by anyone. It probably would have been better if he didn’t even look.

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