Alexandra Shulman led the conversation with the designer, asking why he posed for ads with so many naked women when he's been openly gay for years. Ford explained that he doesn't believe people "have to put boxes around everything," then asked, "Have you ever slept with a woman, Alex?"
The question prompted laughter from the audience, and a giggling Shulman answered no and pointed to Ford's partner of 25 years, Richard Buckley. Read on to see how he responded and some of the best quotes from the rest of his talk.
On his sexuality: "I hate to use the words gay and straight, and I think we're all on some sort of sliding scale. Of course, I'm at the Richard Buckley end of the scale, but I hate that gay/straight thing."
On why it's important to be in his own ads: "I'm the face of the brand. With Chanel, you feel that Karl Lagerfeld's personality has really melded with Coco's — but not everyone knows yet who I am, so that's why I'm in the pictures. I don't like having my picture taken but it helps people to respond . . . My real life's not like the fantasy Tom Ford world, with naked girls pouring perfume everywhere. It's more staying in and watching Friends on television."
On staging presentations rather than runway shows: "The reason I present in a small, controlled way is that so much of what makes my clothes special is the cut, the stitching, the lining — things that would be lost on the catwalk. On the catwalk you have to exaggerate, almost."
On testing his line of cosmetics: "I put every single thing on — I don't wear it down the street, but I want to see how it covers, how it works. When you put your name on something, you want people to know you believe in it."