Tom Ford tries to teach his 4-year-old son that dinosaur shoes are ‘tacky’


I wish Tom Ford was a more prolific filmmaker, so we could enjoy his interviews all-year-round. He’s deliciously snobby, bitchy, judgy, funny and thoughtful. I could listen to him snort derisively about sweatpants all day long (and I’m wearing sweatpants right now!). GQ has named Ford one of their Men of the Year, and this interview is just perfection. By that I mean… these quotes are so crazy, controversial and hilarious. His four-year-old son owns a pair of shoes with dinosaurs on them. Tom Ford loathes these shoes. He tries to convince Jack that they are tacky. He tries to forbid Jack from wearing them to school. That’s just one of the many amazing stories in this GQ piece. You can read the full piece here. Some highlights:

He takes up to five baths a day? GQ writes: “He takes the first of his three to five daily power baths at 6 A.M., rising before Richard and Jack, in order to rouse himself from the sleeping pills that have made him nearly comatose. He sits in the bath with his eyes closed, sipping iced coffee through a straw like he’s in the ICU being brought back from anesthetized abyss.”

His son’s style: He helps Jack dress, and he allows Jack to pick his own clothes. Granted, the only clothes Jack owns are clothes that Tom Ford, who is his father, has pre-selected for him; he has little access to items that his father finds unacceptable. So Jack wears his Lacoste shirt and his jeans, and he tops off the look with Velcro Stan Smiths. He’s just gotten out of a phase in which the only color he would wear was camel—“Camel, camel, camel, camel,” Ford grouses, “all he wanted was camel”—a monochrome 2-year-old. Now all he wants to wear is black. “Jack, black doesn’t really look good on little children. You need to wear some color.” Grudgingly, the toddler says, “Okay, gray.” Ford throws up his hands and retrieves some gray. A sore subject in the Ford household: Jack has some light-up dinosaur shoes, and sometimes he tries to wear them to school, and when Ford catches him doing this, he has to step in. “What does Dada say about the dinosaur shoes?” “They’re tacky.” “And when are we allowed to wear them?” “On weekends.”

Whether he ever wears sweatpants: “I mean, really, no… No, absolutely not.” But Tom Ford is kind and doesn’t want me to have a bad experience during this interview, and so he concedes that he’s a member of a tennis club in London that only permits its members to wear white, and yes, sometimes he does get into the car in this one pair of white sweatpants, since it’s required, but no one on the street sees him because his driver pulls him right up to the club. This seamlessly transitions into a conversation about how men should never ever wear shorts unless they are within very close proximity to a pool, but literally like the deck of the pool, not the eating area. In the eating area, you pull yourself together and put on some pants, for Christ’s sake—you’re eating. “It’s a very American thing—that weird thing where you go to the Hamptons and people are in shorts, loafers, and blazers. No.”

New York is over: “I find New York too frenetic. I mean, I have to take Valium when I’m in New York, and the energy doesn’t seem focused at anything because everything’s so difficult. You get back at the end of the day and you feel like this. And you think, ‘Oh God, I did this and I did that, but what did I really do? I went downtown. That was exhausting.’ ”

He & his family are living in LA for the year: “I live in the Hollywood of the 1930s. I don’t actually live in the Hollywood of 2016. Here is the city of Los Angeles”—he holds his hands up, one above the other, about two feet apart—“and above them is an oil slick. The oil slick are the interesting, smart, intelligent people who are stylish, who you could have a conversation with, who’d want to be friends. Then”—and here he indicates the rest of the space—“you have morons.”

[From GQ]

Now I need to know how Jack ever got his hands on those dinosaur shoes. Who bought them? Tom obviously did not buy them. Perhaps Richard (Tom’s partner/husband) bought them. Perhaps they were a gift from some aunt or uncle or godparent, just one small way to play a joke on Tom. Whoever bought them, thank you for that. I hope someone buys Jack some henna tattoos, flip-flops and sweatpants next. Tom will FREAK OUT.

There’s also a rather graphic-yet-thoughtful discussion about how Tom once told an interviewer that he believed every man – gay, straight, whatever – should be penetrated at some point in their life. While his old statements were more “lascivious” (he says he was drunk when he was doing the original interview), he stands by the sentiment still because he thinks if every man had to experience penetration the way a woman experiences it, it would help men “understand women,” the vulnerability that women have biologically, and what he describes as “literally an invasion” (ie, sex). He actually made me think about that for a few minutes. While I think the sentiment is interesting, I don’t think it would actually change the way straight men understood the female experience, you know? There’s more to being a woman than merely being penetrated.


Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

87 Responses to “Tom Ford tries to teach his 4-year-old son that dinosaur shoes are ‘tacky’”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. minx says:

    His son is 4. Ford will learn to pick his battles at some point. Someday he’ll wish dinosaur shoes were his biggest issue with his son.

    • Dani says:

      Seriously! lol. My daughter is obsessed with the most hideous light up Frozen shoes but wearing them gets her happy and out the door on time sooo ugly shoes it is.

      • third ginger says:

        Sounds like you are doing a great job! My little girl [now 24] once wore a Winnie the Pooh Costume for several days [until it had to be washed] The fascination soon ended.

        I was in Target and a little boy was showing off his Elsa glowing flip-flops. His proud mom was very cool, indeed.

      • Dani says:

        I once had a winnie the pooh pjs I wore for maybe 2 weeks without letting my mom wash them. She still gloats over the fact that those were the 2 best weeks of her life and I’m 26!!! Happy kid happy mom!

      • detritus says:

        I would have murdered another child for light up or rolly shoes.
        It was considered frivolous, so we didn’t get that ish.
        I finally grew into my older cousins zebra striped pink hightops and I wore those until they broke. My mom likes lawn flamingos though, so she was totally cool with that, but I can imagine if she didn’t let me I would have had a yen for zebra print my entire life.

        Tom best be careful otherwise he’s going to end up with a son who dresses like Bobby Trendy or Charo.

      • milla says:

        that sounds cute! i don’t have kids, but i respect parents who let their kids have a choice. maybe she will become a famous designer one day. it is all so cute.

        i wore pink leggings and striped matchy matchy set all the time. It looked awful, but it was like 5. the moment i realized mom doesn’t care, i stopped wearing it, although there are so many pics…

  2. cleveland girl says:

    He sounds like a complete drug addict to be honest. But I guess he can dress his children as he sees fit. Eventually the kid will rebel…they all do eventually.

    • nic says:

      How would Tom Ford’s son even rebel? By shopping at American Apparel and limiting his drug use to pot, that’s how.

    • LaMaitresse says:

      How does he sound like a “drug addict”. The majority of children’s clothes are borderline silly to naff these days, so I’m team Ford for those repulsive shoes. At least he lets him wear them on the weekend, I would have burnt the damn things (probably not, but very limited use). I think he makes a very astute social commentary on the US, and you certainly don’t run hundred million dollar companies as an addict.

    • Lex says:

      See: Saffron from Ab Fab.

  3. Alix says:

    Controlling much? Feel sorry for the little boy, who’s clearly desperate to express himself in any small way. Give me his address, I’ll send him Crocs!

    • Betsy says:

      God, I hate crocs for my kids. Those shoes are guaranteed to make my kids trip and fall spectacularly.

    • BJ says:

      If he was really controlling his son wouldn’t have dinosaur shoes,they would have been thrown away.If he was really controlling ,Jack wouldn’t pick out his own clothes.He would be forced to wear whatever Tom told him to wear,no questions asked He wouldn’t get to decide to wear gray.That’s controlling and I feel sorry for kids with those type of parents.

  4. Aang says:

    He sounds like a funny guy but I bet being around him is as exhausting as a day in NY. What a snob.

    • bluerunning says:

      Yeah…. that’s what I was thinking too. Small doses…. VERY small doses.

    • Timbuktu says:

      Agreed! Heck, getting dressed in the morning knowing he will see (and judge) you must be exhausting.

    • Locke Lamora says:

      He sounds like a colossall asshole. A funny asshole, but still an asshole.

      • Lirko says:

        And here I thought he’d lightened up so much since having a child (as he stated in a different interview). I suppose it’s all relative!

    • Annetommy says:

      Yep. I have liked both his films but five baths a day? I also dislike that “smoulder” he seems to have to give in photos. The ones here aren’t that bad; quite often it’s like something from Zoolander. Comical rather than sexy.

    • LoveIsBlynd says:

      Yeah, his style is funny to adults but damaging to a child. Kids need confidence in their passions/proclivities. I only curbed violence/cruelty in children, but always encouraged what they love and are drawn to creatively. Makes sense how the children of major celebrities/personalities are so conflicted. Makes me sad 🙁

      • teacakes says:

        …..did you read the article? His son gets to pick out his clothes and wear them, even when Tom doesn’t like the colours/thinks kids should be wearing something other than black and grey. It’s the dinosaur shoes he tries to limit to weekends.

  5. COSquared says:

    Didn’t Karl say that sweatpants were a sign of defeat?

  6. Wilma says:

    I make my little girl’s clothes and make sure they always have something she’s really into on them. She really enjoys getting dressed and pointing out to other people what’s on her clothes.
    I feel kind of sad for Jack.

  7. Miss M says:

    Am I the only one who thinks he is exhausting?! Too neurotic…
    But I liked nocturnal animals.

  8. Slowsnow says:

    Ok. I really really don’t like it when people tell you what looks good and what doesn’t. The acceptable use of post-truth is that we live in a multiple society where diversity of styles, including sweatpants, is what makes my heart race with happiness even when I don’t like what I see. I have a really hard time with the absolutist comments especially when it comes to raising a child. I may be over-reacting but my experience of being a mum is exactly the opposite. Trying to calm down my inner Tom Ford and listen. This arrogance and cluelessness may be fun in a 30’s kind of way but I prefer my bitchiness delivered by the amazing Rupaul drag-queens. Mr. Ford is exhausting.

  9. Sixer says:

    I am wearing Sixlet Major’s stars and stripes onesie. This is honestly true. He will murderise me to death if he sees me in it. Note to self: get properly dressed before 4pm and sneak it into the washing. He won’t notice.

    I feel Tom Ford would likely judge both my parenting and fashion skillz. Bigly.*

    *On a scale of 1 to 10 (or even 10 gazillion), how bad is it that I like “bigly” and find myself using it, even though it is a Trumpism? Do I need an intervention?

    • Shambles says:

      Sixer is dressed like an American flag and is using the phrase “bigly.” I think we’ve lost her.

      • Sixer says:

        Also, like Tom Ford, I have no idea whatsoever how he came by this US-themed item of clothing. But it’s chilly today and the stars and stripes are fluffy on the inside. Let’s just hope I don’t forget to take it off before he gets in from school and sees me!

      • third ginger says:

        Long may you wave, Sixer!!! This Yank approves. As for “bigly” We go back and forth thinking it’s “big league” and he just slurs his words or it is actually “bigly” Either way, it’s here to stay.

      • M4lificent says:

        Maybe we’ll get lucky and Sixer will come be our president….

    • littlemissnaughty says:

      Um, I would say that word should only be used to mock the orange one. Please don’t make it a thing. I beg you. I already break out in hives these days when people use the word “sad”. As in, not in a sentence but for emphasis.

      • Sixer says:

        The thing is, I do purposefully mess about with words to be silly. Actually, I did it above with murderise, didn’t I? Doing it wrong(ly) on purpose is funny. Bigly does therefore appeal to me. I’ll try to stop, however tempting it is. Just for you.

      • littlemissnaughty says:

        I appreciate it. 🙂 I really do. This man … he is bad for my blood pressure. For my health, really. I’m all for playing with words and I love it especially in English because German doesn’t really lend itself to that but oh my god, just thinking about words like “bigly”, “sad”, or “tremedous” makes my blood boil. He is ruining my favorite foreign language that grade-A f*cker.

        How the hell am I going to survive the next 4 years? I’m 32. These are the years where stress can wreck you face anyway! I should probably get into meditation and face masks. Tea. Oh my god, I need tea.

      • Sixer says:

        But German has all the good compound nouns! Console yourself with making up some (rude) new ones for Trump. That’ll make you feel better. Also, share them with me so that I can steal them.

      • third ginger says:

        @littlemiss naughty

        I feel for you. As a lifelong Democrat and progressive [age 64], I find these few weeks to have been awful. I also have a gay daughter, and Pence terrifies us. Satire can help, perhaps even save us. A lack of a sense of humor is Trump’s Achilles’ Heel. This is true for all tyrants. Keep watching Colbert, Samantha Bee, and SNL.

    • tegteg says:

      1. After I read your comment, I found myself browsing the web for onesies. Why can’t I find any with feet?! It gets really cold here.

      2. Loved your use of bigly. Made me smile, even though thoughts of the cheetoh usually bring me acute misery.

  10. Shambles says:

    Power Baths. Now there’s a phrase I can get behind.

    Honestly, the penetration argument holds some water for me. I’m not saying it’s going to help men completely understand the female experience, or that I would ever actually argue for this in a serious way. But I think being penetrated could be seen as a metaphor for a lot of things women deal with. And there are times when I want to say to my BF, do YOU want a d*ck in your you-know-what right now? No? Okay. So leave me alone.

    • detritus says:

      I could get behind some PowerBaths. Maybe not 5 times a day though, my job would not approved of me getting my paperwork damp.

      I also think Ford has a point, and there are some major differences in sexual scripts, but his weed philosopher style is off putting.

      Sex is over when the man orgasms. Sex usually involves P in V penetration. Sex involves actual insertion into our being, and we give up so much control just by dint of being in a vulnerable position with someone so much stronger. Most ‘traditional’ sex is missionary, where you are literally trapped.

      Just think about losing your Vcard stories.
      Women are told it’s gonna hurt. Your first time is gonna be bad. You’ll bleed.

      Men are told they aren’t men until they lose theirs, and that for women the first time its gonna hurt and bleed.

      It literally sets the stage for painful sex that only benefits the man. It’s effed when you really stop to consider.

  11. Talie says:

    It’s just funny that your dad can be the fabulous Tom Ford who tries his hardest to get you to like all the things he does, and you still just want dinosaurs and trains.

  12. littlemissnaughty says:

    Okay, dinosaur shoes are AWESOME. I can’t get mad at him for thinking they’re tacky but to tell your kid that their awesome shoes are tacky is maybe not the best idea. Let him be a kid. He’ll have enough to deal with in terms of style expectation later on. His father is Tom Ford, for god’s sake. But if that’s the worst thing? Eh.

    I don’t think men will ever understand the female experience fully, no. But yeah, it would absolutely help them understand the different experience we have during sex. Not all guys. Some would probably go “This is fantastic, what is your problem??? I could do this ALL DAY!” and I’m sure there are women who don’t think it’s a big deal to be the one being penetrated. But in general, it’s probably not a bad idea.

    I had a conversation with a friend a few years ago and I tried to explain that bad sex for men is probably not great but I’ve rarely met a guy who said “Oh my god it was SO awful, never again with this girl.” For most of them “bad” means “not good”. For most women I know, bad sex is really BAD. Maybe the penetration aspect is part of that.

  13. boredblond says:

    I would love to put him in a true 30s setting like the Algonquin round table..they’d eat him alive.

  14. Tanya says:

    My school bans light up shoes of any kind, so clearly Ford isn’t alone.

  15. lucy2 says:

    I like a lot of his work, but he sounds exhausting. And a little over-medicated too.
    Let the kid wear dinosaur shoes if he wants. Take happiness where you can find it.

  16. Alix says:

    What’s tacky is being so aesthetically offended by children’s clothing.

    • tegteg says:

      True. Kid’s clothes are meant to have crazy prints and whatnot. They can pull it off.

    • QueenB says:

      yeah let children dress in funny ways. i just saw a pic of me as a kid, i totally forgot what kind of stuff i wore, i looked like a clown, was really happy to see that.

  17. JustCrimmles says:

    I find it adorable and endearing that his son is so into neutrals, and so early. And recalling my own preferences at that age, I refused to wear anything navy (a pair of Mary Janes I remember being very adamantly against.) Also wouldn’t wear anything resembling a moccasin or loafer. And plaid. A big no to plaid. I did have a pair of dinosaur Converse though! And I turned out pretty ok 😉

    • detritus says:

      I refused jeans, because they were too stiff and hard for my delicate skin.

      I refused to bend my legs, so mom could see HOW HORRIBLE they were.
      I fell down our stairs because of this and my mother didn’t laugh at me to my face at all.

  18. Guesto says:

    I like his work and I enjoy entertaining snobbery but his is not, it’s just tedious and makes him come across as a prissy and really not particularly likeable arse.

  19. Betsy says:

    Am I the only one who will admit to light up shoe snobbery? I don’t care if other kids wear them; my kids are not allowed to.

    • Lalu says:

      My son never owned a pair. I cannot stand them either. I also despise crocs and don’t like flip flops on little boys.
      I def steered my son away from things that I personally couldn’t stand for kids to wear so I didn’t find the thing about the dino shoes that odd.
      Of course, now at 14 my son has hair longer than mine that he loves (and I detest) but he wants it so I let him have it. My point being, I don’t think this makes him some controlling, mean parent. We pick our battles!

    • Beckysuz says:

      You aren’t the only one. I have a deep and probably unhealthy hatred for light up or “character” shoes for kids. I always steered my kids away from them. I also hate crocs. For adults because they are ugly, and for kids because I don’t think they are very safe. I’ve seen too many kids trip and fall wearing crocs

    • popup says:

      Same! I personally don’t wear shirts emblazoned with a billboard for a character or movie or a giant logo of any sort. When such things arrive as gifts, I try to return them or only let my kid wear them inside as pajamas or something. I also don’t dress her in anything too frilly or girly and festooned with lace and ribbons. I think those are “tacky.” And Tom Ford sounds hilarious. He’s exacting, obviously, but he’s not exactly squashing his kid’s individuality in the fashion department.

  20. Ninks says:

    If he really lived in 1930s Hollywood, he would have a beautiful wife and Richard would be his secret lover. In 2016 Hollywood, he can marry Richard and together they can raise their lovely son openly.

  21. Cee says:

    Oh, Jack, I also consider grey to be the colour in my outfits.
    My mum used to pick out my clothes and I haaaaated it. I hated the dresses and the ribbons, and the socks with lace. I also hated the blouses. I wanted to wear jeans and runners. I remember being 10 years old, at Disney World, sulking because I had to wear a blouse and ridiculous pants while my cousins wore Mickey tshirts and jeans.

    • JustCrimmles says:

      ^^literally me at every holiday gathering with my cousins, until around age 12. Never understood why my mom wanted us all dressed up to just go to our grandparents’ right next door. Where we’d spend a good chunk of time outside. In the cold. Lacy socks are not the conductors of warmth my mother seemed to believe. And tights. God help me, tights. All the pinching as she’d pull them up my legs. I never doubted she did this on purpose.

      • Cee says:

        Hahaha in my case I think it was the way my mum had been raised. We were all dressed accordingly, except my lucky cousins. I just hated the fact that whenever I ran the blouse collars would block my face. I didn’t mind the tights, I just hated the pleated skirts. Honestly, I was a doll… and who the hell wears that at Disney World?!

  22. MellyMel says:

    I love him and find him hilarious though I’m sure that’s not his intent. He’s probably exhausting to be around all the time, but his sass is everything.

  23. OhDear says:

    Aw man, let the kid develop his own style and wear what he wants!

  24. JustJen says:

    I love him. He’s judgy and snarky but he’s not a chauvinist b****. I can get on board with that. Now if he could just get Crocs banned from the entire planet..(sighs wistfully). Those ugly things aren’t allowed in our house EVER. And I’m no fashionista, just your average SAHM typing this in my pj’s. For some reason, his description of Americans in the Hamptons “in shorts and blazers” reminded me of “Weekend at Bernies”. And now I have to see if that’s on Netflix.

  25. Sage says:

    I chuckled at the way he describes his sons style.

    Back I the 90s I used to have a crush on Tom Ford. He’s a very handsome man. I also loved his designs when he used to head YSL.

  26. Kris says:

    I completely agree about the shorts and the sweatpants. I think there should be a law forbidding the use of sweatpants anywhere but the gym and the use of shorts anywhere other than the pool. Any maybe the beach, if you are parking close to the beach and take them off when you are at the beach.

    Yep, that sound sane to me.

    Who knows, such a very sane law might not be completely unrealistic, with yout new president and all.

    • Timbuktu says:

      What’s wrong with shorts? Your legs are under the table when you eat, it’s not like you’re eating shirtless or something. I honestly don’t get the connection between eating and shorts. Shorts can even be dressy, if it’s the decorum we’re worried about.

  27. Greenieweenie says:

    Weirdly, I totally got what he meant about sex. II felt like he’d thought a lot about the act and how the fundamental differences of sex for straight men and women inform the ways they navigate the world.

  28. iseepinkelefants says:

    I could finally make sense out of the sheer exhaustion I feel going outside. This whole time I thought I was just lazy but seriously going outside (in Paris which is a lot slower than New York) is a chore. I can only imagine how exhausting it is in New York which is a lot more hectic. But I’m sure it helps when you have a driver. After all most of the battle is public transport. But I do love his interviews. He’s fabulous.

  29. Robin says:

    Being nearly comatose from sleeping pills every night with a four-year-old in the house? What could possibly go wrong? Ford sounds like a completely pretentious, shallow twit.

  30. BendyWindy says:

    I kind of love him. Like I knew his name and saw his designs and liked them, but he seems like a younger, judgier Karl Lagerfeld.

    And yes, kids wear tacky stuff. I don’t choose to say that it’s tacky, but with my older kids I’m not above making them change. The 3 year old gets more leeway, but she’s got pretty good sense, even when she’s mixing patterns. Basically, yes he’s ridiculous about dinosaur shoes, but I think his kid will be just fine.

  31. Grant says:

    He sounds absolutely insufferable and exhausting to be around. Get over yourself, bro. People are dying in Syria and you’re losing sleep over a four year old in dinosaur shoes, FFS.

  32. Jillybean says:

    That’s so awesome… Jack will rebel as a teen by genie pants, high top Excalibur sneakers, ocean pacific and varnet t-shirts, chip n pepper hoodies and demin overalls. He might even top it off with a rats tail and bear claws…. no matter how hip and cool your parents are – teenagers always find a way to rebel!

  33. Tina says:

    That poor, poor child. I shudder to think of the life he is required to live.

    • Bianca says:

      One dad is 55, the other is 68 (and looks older). He needs his mother.

      • I just can't says:

        Cute. While I do agree it’s a shame his parents are that old (I can’t imagine my mother having any interest raising a 4 year old now) I guess we know where you stand on gay marriage.

    • Tina says:

      For the avoidance of doubt, my fear for the child has nothing to do with his fathers or their ages. Just the fact that the poor thing can’t wear light-up sneakers whenever the bloody fancy takes him, and knows to repeat the word “tacky” on cue.

  34. Gigi says:

    He sounds insufferable.

  35. TyrantDestroyed says:

    I imagine the same struggle P.G. has to go through when his parents make him dress in “timeless” costumes that include shorts when is cold outside. Kids are kids and as long as it is appropriated they should dress as comfortable as they like.

  36. Ruyana says:

    I don’t know much about him, but he is a very handsome man. In fact, I think he looks like a cleaned-up Keanu Reeves.

  37. Lyla says:

    He takes 5 baths a day? California still going through a drought!!!! 🙄😡

  38. Winterberry says:

    My pet peeve is seeing people totally slobbed-out on planes. What if I don’t want to see you in your worst pajamas lugging around your pillow? You are in public for G-d’s sake.

  39. Tessa says:


  40. tekla says:

    I feel like he would hate my style. I love sneakers. Plus, the penetration comment? Ugh, gay people. The way they perceive women is so warped.