Thom Browne: Nice Guys Finish First

Photo Credit: ] Zach Hilty, BFA

I initially met designer Thom Browne years ago when I interviewed and profiled him for a story. Since then, we’ve developed a nice relationship. You can’t miss Browne, nearly always in his famous shrunken suit, as he is out and about on the streets of NYC. He’s always approachable, always impeccable and always just as lovely and nice as that first time we spent time together.

It seems overdue and only right that this New York Fashion Week kicked off by honoring Browne.

He was presented with the Couture Council award from the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology at New York’s famed Lincoln Center during a sold out luncheon. Browne joked, “When I was told I was getting this award, I was worried for FIT. Are they going to get people to come?”  

Turns out, he had no need to worry. Many industry legends including Fern Mallis and Hamish Bowles were on hand to celebrate Browne’s talents. Socialites, journalists and celebrities including Brooke Shields, Ali Wentworth, Martha Stewart, Deborah Roberts, Derek Warburton and Whoopi Goldberg (who also presented Browne with his award) attended as well.

Photo Credit: Sam Nandez, BFA

Photo Credit: Sam Nandez, BFA

Goldberg spoke about her love for Browne and detailed her journey to finding self-acceptance with fashion choices: “After I read what people wrote about me, it hurt me so bad. I stopped wearing stuff. . . a couple of years ago it went in a whole different direction. I thought I am going to just do me. Screw everybody else. I’m not everybody’s taste, but I’m my own taste.”

She credits Browne for always loving her without judgement  — and for appreciating the white shirt (a staple in her own wardrobe).

“He’s just a good man,” Goldberg said. “He’s got a great dog, and a great partner. . . he doesn’t have to go in crazy directions to prove what he is doing.”

Photo Credit: Sam Nandez, BFA

There were very few dry eyes in the room when upon accepting his award, Browne teared up while thanking his partner Andrew Bolton (who is the curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art), “I am the luckiest person in the world to be inspired everyday by the person I love, the most important person in my life,” adding, “fashion truly can be art.”

A well deserved honor for a true gentleman.