When I showed up at Tom Ford’s mansion in Palm Beach for the big interview marking his exit from the worlds of luxury and fashion (he recently sold his namesake company for $2.8 billion and plans to spend the rest of his days making movies), I took a direct approach to getting some original stories from the famously loquacious designer: I simply told him that I didn’t want the usual tales of fabulousness, decadence, and woe—I wanted surprising, new tales of fabulousness, decadence, and woe. Ones that he’d never told before.
As far as interview tactics go, the approach was definitely pretty basic—more checkers than 3D chess. You be the judge…but I think the conversation takes some exciting turns. If you missed the piece when we published it last week, check it out here, and let me know what you think.
Truth be told, there is a danger to making an issue like Men of the Year: If you’re not careful, it can become kinda like a bad dinner party—a semi-random assortment of fizzy people talking endlessly about not much while wearing overly fancy clothes.
Luckily, here at GQ, we know how to throw a good party. So I am exceedingly proud to present you with an issue that parties hard.
In addition to the fabulous Mr. Ford, what you’ll find in this year’s Men of the Year is a careful curation of the year’s most complicated and compelling people, telling stories that you haven’t heard before—and never would’ve guessed.
To be honest, when all our writers came back from doing their interviewing and reporting, even we were shocked at the pieces they filed.
I don’t want to ruin all the surprises we have in store for you in the coming weeks, but I think you’ll find that every major piece in this issue delivers deep insights that complicate the narrative on some of the most fascinating characters across fashion, music, film, television, sports, and whatever you call the genre of culture that Kim Kardashian still utterly dominates in her own inimitable (and highly profitable) way.
Imagine again a dinner party, one where the energy is high and everyone is meeting new people, laughing and sharing secrets, and, yes, looking awesome while doing it—that’s what I hope this issue feels like. A party where you meet every guest, talk for hours, and never want to leave. You can simply follow along as we roll out the stories here on GQ dot com, or — better yet — you can subscribe to GQ, and we’ll mail you a copy that you can binge or savor at your own sweet pace.
Will Welch is GQ’s global editorial director.