Thom Browne talks personal taste: Part Two

The bespoke menswear designer concludes his style file with Krug champagne, Yoku Moku cookies and the Seagram building

Thom Browne in New York
Thom Browne in New York | Image: Dorothy Hong

My style icon is a fictional character I’ve made up myself, and who inspires me in lots of different ways. I have in my head someone who likes to be on their own, wears a great suit every day, and lives a nice quiet life that everyone is intrigued by.

An indulgence I would never forego is champagne – I love the romance of ending the day with a glass. I was first introduced to it after I graduated and moved to the city, and it has become my drink.

And the best souvenir I’ve brought home is a box of cookies from Yoku Moku in Japan. It might sound really mundane, but it is a great combination of beautiful packaging and really good cookies. Being Japanese, the presentation is perfect.

Lever House, designed by Gordon Bunshaft and Natalie de Blois of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
Lever House, designed by Gordon Bunshaft and Natalie de Blois of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill | Image: Getty Images/Dorling Kindersley

My favourite room in my house is the living room. There is a Jacques Adnet daybed that I like to sit on. I think the space is comfortable, but it’s not cluttered. It’s simple, not soft. A friend described it as a space that could be “hosed down”. It gets really nice light, and has a terrace with views towards the Hudson river.

The sites that inspire me are Lever House, designed by Gordon Bunshaft and Natalie de Blois of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, and the Seagram Building, by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, both in Manhattan. I like the strength in the simplicity of the architecture. The elevator panel in the Seagram Building is perfection, as is the travertine on the floors and walls. I wish I lived in an apartment building that looked like that. And the plaza outside is one of the most beautiful in the city.

An object I would never part with? There isn’t one. I could part with absolutely anything. I am not tied to any single object.


The book on my bedside table is After Visiting Friends: A Son’s Story by Michael Hainey. It’s Hainey’s first book – the story of him growing up without his father and finding out what happened to him. How he passed away was something of a mystery.

The last music I downloaded? I don’t download or even acquire music in any way. I watch MTV if I’m running at the gym, but that’s about it. I don’t go to see live music, either. Although I would quite like to go and see a Beyoncé show; I think she must be amazing on stage.

In my fridge you’ll always find racks of champagne and mineral water; usually Krug Grande Cuvée non-vintage and Evian.

Stanley Kubrick
Stanley Kubrick | Image: Getty Images

If I had to limit my shopping to one neighbourhood in one city I’d choose Clignancourt in Paris. I’d wander the flea-markets, looking for vintage champagne coupes. But really, I don’t shop much.

The person I rely on for personal grooming is my barber at Chelsea Barbers. She’s cut my hair for a long time. She’s just around the corner from my office, so it’s really convenient, and she’s very good. 465 West 23rd Street, New York, NY 10011 (+1212-741 2254).

If I didn’t live in New York, the city I would live in is Tokyo. I always go for Japanese food at the Grand Hyatt and I love the Okura Hotel, which visually is the Japanese equivalent of the Four Seasons restaurant in the Seagram Building. It’s been westernised, but not as much as it might have been. I particularly love the bar, but most of all I like its architecture and the neighbourhood that it’s in, right across the street from the American embassy. I also love the Aoyama district, particularly where my store is. It’s a beautiful area, and not too commercial. Grand Hyatt, 6-10-3 Roppongi, Minato (+813-4333 1234; Okura Hotel, 2-10-4 Toranomon, Minato (+813-3582 0111;


If I weren’t doing what I do, I would be a film director. I’d love to make a movie and treat my shows in a very cinematic way. I would never dare to compare myself with him, but I’d approach film in a similar way to Stanley Kubrick. His work was amazingly interesting. He was visually driven.

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