All eyes might be on Paris Fashion Week right now, but back in June, one Tom Ford summoned every fashionable guy from around the globe to a dinner in Milan during Men’s Fashion Week to celebrate the launch of his new fragrance pour les hommes: Tom Ford Noir (available now at Sephora). The designer, who, one could argue, brought sexy back long before Justin Timberlake, is something of a fragrance fanatic, and he’s declared Tom Ford Noir his “most personal fragrance yet.” It caters to the dual sides of the “Tom Ford man”: the urban sophisticate (Mr. Ford in his London design studio), and the man behind closed doors (the designer reading in a candle-lit claw-foot tub, maybe?)—resulting in a perfectly balanced fusion of leather and spice (black pepper oil, nutmeg) and, dare I say, masculine florals. But when the man in the bath isn’t the designer, himself, who is the Tom Ford Man? I wanted to find out. So, I hopped a plane to Italy and headed to Ford’s party at Giacomo Bistrot to quiz three of the biggest names in men’s style: Eugene Tong, Luke Day, and Tobias Frericks.
Tong, the 32-year old Style Director of Details magazine, “never plans” his outfits, but brought “all his favorite shit” with him to Milan. He arrived at the restaurant in his trademark sneakers (“I’m a huge shoe guy,” he admitted), a crisp white tee, fedora, and a summer-weight navy blazer—a combination chosen to suit the temperature more than the occasion. “I’m obsessive about checking the weather,” he laughed. “I’ll think about it in the shower and kind of have an idea of what I’m going to wear.” Also a priority while in the shower: a grainy exfoliating face wash (Shiseido Men Deep Cleansing Scrub), because “it feels really good, like I’m getting rid of dirt,” he said. “I’m a crazy, OCD, neat freak, so the fact that there are the little scrubber things in it makes it feel like I’m really scrubbing my face, so I feel like I’m finally clean.”
Tong rarely leaves the house without spritzing on cologne—a habit formed back in middle school. “I remember my scent was Cool Water by Davidoff—that was my shit. My friend had already called dibs on Drakkar Noir, so I was like, ‘All right, I’m going to go Cool Water then.’ But it all kind of worked out—girls were into it. I was like, ‘Girls love Cool Water! I’m going to wear this every day.’ Scents are funny that way.”
At left, a grown-up Tong reveals his all-time favorite smell, what he’s most vain about, and of course, what he imagines Tom Ford smells like. (We had to ask.)
Tom Ford Noir, Available at Sephora, 50ml $90, 100ml $125. Photographed by Nick Axelrod in Milan, Italy. This feature is sponsored by Tom Ford Noir.