His clients, on the other hand, are open to the full range of possibilities, from the boardroom-restrained to the ballroom-fabulous. Whatever the style, it leans toward the lavish. Mr. Ford showed tennis shoes but also pool slide sandals, in velvet — an ornamental if not strictly functional touch, since velvet is a fabric you might want to keep at some distance from the pool.
“I don’t know,” he said, when a reporter offered that observation. “I wear velvet all the time.”
Mr. Ford, 55, is not an uninterrupted presence in Milan, as some of his contemporaries are. He has hopscotched around the fashion weeks of the world, showing his men’s wear and his women’s wear sometimes by appointment, sometimes in runway shows, in different cities and different time frames: He experimented with the “buy now, wear now” model of showing clothes on the runway in season and making them immediately available, which, he said, “unfortunately didn’t work.”
And though he said he maintained focus on his collections throughout, he spent much of the past few years absorbed by his second film, “Nocturnal Animals.” Today, he was greeting small numbers of invited guests for a quiet showroom presentation. The next spectacle will have to wait until his next women’s runway show in New York in September. (Mr. Ford’s runway shows tend to be as star-studded as his premieres.)
The next spectacle will have to wait, then. (Mr. Ford’s runway shows are as star-studded as his premieres.) For now, for men, there are the classics, dialed up. Mr. Ford makes a full wardrobe: suits (business, swim), casual wear, jeans, glasses, boots, shoes, 39 fragrances, with timepieces to come in the fall.
“There’s not really a thing for men we don’t make,” he said.
The grace note, underwear, will follow next spring. Soon, nothing will come between the man of means and his Toms.