MILAN, Italy -- It's official: When James Bond returns for the next installment of the 007 franchise in November, he'll be ditching the Brioni suits he's worn for the last five movies and taking up with Tom Ford.
Ford confirmed the news Monday during men's fashion week as he was getting ready to open his new five-story, 11,478-square-foot menswear store in Milan's "Golden Triangle" luxury shopping district.
"It's a terrific representation for us," said Ford, against the backdrop of the polished Macassar wood walls of his made-to-measure suiting salon. "A lot of people think if you wear conservative clothing your life is dull and uninteresting. But James Bond is this character who is sophisticated yet he sleeps with three girls at once and [has a car] with parachutes coming out of it. His life is very interesting, so I thought it was a good fit."
It's not too much of a leap, since Bond actor Daniel Craig was one of the first celebrities Ford dressed in his namesake men's line launched last year, which has a traditional, English bespoke feel.
FOR THE RECORD:BOND FILM -- An article in Tuesday's Calendar section about fashion designer Tom Ford said the next James Bond film is called "Quantum of Silence." The film will be called "Quantum of Solace."
Ford first made a name for himself in the womenswear arena during his tenure as creative director of Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent. After his high-profile departure in 2004, he took his rock-star status, dashing good looks and creative energies elsewhere. He's dabbled in publishing, as guest editor for the 2006 Vanity Fair Hollywood issue in which he appeared on the cover alongside Scarlett Johansson and Keira Knightley (they were naked, he was not) and Hollywood (the part-time L.A. resident said he wants to direct), before launching fragrance and eyewear collections in 2005.
He opened his first menswear store on Madison Avenue in April 2007. Since then, his Italian-made suits (which start at $3,800 off the rack and $5,000 made-to-measure) have been seen on A-listers such as Brad Pitt, who recently showed up at the Cannes Film Festival in a Tom Ford.
The designer said he didn't differentiate between the way he dressed Bond on screen in "Quantum of Silence" and the way he dresses the man who plays him. "Their tastes are very similar," Ford said. "Daniel knows himself really well and he likes to keep it very, very, very, very simple. For example, it's hard to get him to wear diamond studs with a tuxedo. He prefers buttons."
Ford worked with the film's costume designer, Louise Frogley, to create made-to-measure suits, shirts, knitwear, ties and a Tom Ford take on the well-dressed British agent's signature tuxedo, in navy blue.
"We made about 420 pieces for 11 costume changes," Ford said. "For each scene we made three suits that were perfect, three suits that were bloodied and blown up, three suits that were bloodied, blown up and had been in a pool -- and then we had to make most of those different permutations for the stunt men as well."
Ford said the opportunity arose because Craig was already a fan of his work -- and apparently the feelings are mutual.
"He's the best Bond since Sean Connery. He's a terrific guy to dress and he's pretty powerful with what he wears."