Wednesday, December 19, 2007


An controversial figure in today's fashion world is Tom Ford the american designer that reenergized the house of Gucci in the 90's and became known for bringing the 70's hedonistic party mood on the catwalk and in the products of the house . Having the vision of a movie director he created the character that represents the gucci brand and gave new meanings to the word designer and creative director . There where a lot of articles regarding Tom Ford and in the same time he has a constant media presence because of the openings of new stores and the launch of his own brand but what I find interesting about him is the fact that he gave a new meaning to the word designer . A designer is the person that basicali designs the product that is going to be marketed and sold but in the case of Tom Ford the things are slightly different . He moved from the this faze and became implied in the buissnies side of things and in the strategy of the company , in the same time he controlled the communication and the image of the brand selling a mix of Tom Ford and Gucci and infusing his ideas in the designs giving the products a “Tom Ford look” that became the blueprint of the brand .
He was one of the first designers that crossed the lines that separate different functions in the structure of a company and he was one of the first ones that designed in a way that makes me think about what culture can mean . In a lot o cases the designers are just part of the process and do not imply themselfes in the communicational and strategical thinking of the brand they are the so called artists that do not deal with numbers they deal only with the creative concepts and have the mission of making the products that come out of their hands unique and original in all their aspects . Back to the case of Tom Ford,he was different becoming one with the brand and directing the visual aspect of the brand in a specific moment in time makes me think about the fact that probably there is some kind of mathematical pattern in the way the creative process of designing works . In a society where we are constantly bombarded with new products because of the shopping phenomenon Tom Ford started seeing the things in a simple way creating a new path and selling a lifestyle associated with the brand and with the house that he was representing .
There are a lot of theories related to what a designer can be and has to be but in a lot of cases the fact that a designer puts and creates some kind of “space “ to make things happen is neglected in a lot of cases . The designer is regarded as the person that designs and not as the person that can see the missing pieces of the puzzle and bring people together for a specific cause and with a specific reason .
A designer can be a “space creator “ and the person that gathers people together having the capacity of thinking from macro to micro ( or reverse) and applying some sort of cultural learnings on the creations that come out of his imagination . A designer can also be the person that can step away from the process and become a sort of annalist or observer ( trend-watcher ) of things being implied in the design process just by influencing the people that actually design .
On another level the designing process can be quite difficult and complicated because of the way it works and the mood of each designer . The mood of things is very important the way things work and are created is influenced by this . Designers often seek inspiration in the “outside world “ and this world can be the fine art world , the world of advertising, nature, music or life in general , so this human factor called inspiration often produces the link or the bridge between different types of thinking and working thus the inspiration factor can make the difference between sterile creations and successful outcomes . So the empathy between different people can bring out of the nothingness of the scratch beginnings a good product .
In the last few years the designer term is also became more and more a definition of the process more that on the people that are implied in it ( a good example for this is Ole Schefer one of the partners in charge of OMA that had reconized in an interview that sometimes you cannot work with a fully professional team and that sometimes the need of a free mind without professional dogmas is needed) . Because of the complex world that we are living in today a world that is under the pressure of constant shifts and associative problems ( see globalization ) the design process started to require more and more a multifaceted way of thinking so in a lot of cases people that have nothing to do with design can be implied in the actual brainstorm that generates the next phases . Designers are obliged in today's world to learn from different fiends and to generate a coherent concept that can be user friendly and have a longer time spam .

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