An interview with Todd Thomas from Victoria’s Secret

Fashion Foie Gras was given the magnificent opportunity to interview Todd Thomas, the creative mastermind at Victoria’s Secret, following the recent fabulousness that was the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.  Mr. Thomas has worked with Victoria’s Secret for over a decade now and where he might be too  humble to say he’s given the company a new lease on life…we’ll go ahead and say it for him! It’s no coincidence that Victoria’s Secret has transformed itself over the past ten years with Thomas on board. Behind every great bra and panty…it turns out there is a great man.  Here’s our interview…

FFG: You’re job is the envy of every heterosexual male out there…and in fact your work makes a lot of them very happy.  However, your work also has every female’s eyeballs glued to the screen for the VS fashion show every year. What audience do you work for and what is your ideal reaction from both camps?

Mr. Thomas: Well, the interesting fact about the viewers of the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show is more women tune in than men.  I think all people just appreciate the overt element of fantasy and love suspending reality for just a few moments.  I don’t really work towards an audience, rather just the ideals we’ve already set and in pushing the bar and making an over the top glam-a-thon.  It’s a celebration everyone enjoys.

FFG: Tell us a little bit about how you worked your way up through Victoria’s Secret to become the creative power behind the brand!

Mr. Thomas: Hahahah… well that’s overstating my position in the family that is the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. I am one of many of the creative fish in that bowl.  I did however begin my affiliation with the show as one of the tailor crew over ten years ago.  One season there was an opening to fill in the Collection Production and I moved on to there, thanks to the acknowledgement from Stylist Charlotte Stockdale and the EVP of PR, Monica Mitro.  Each season it’s grown into a more demanding creative process and we’ve made great efforts to raise the caliber of the show and the quality of the pieces that we create.

FFG: What’s your creative process in the build up to the show?

Mr Thomas: The brand itself and the design teams give us the blueprint of how to proceed with the themes.  From that information we create chapters and a storyline and the various showpieces start their lives.  It’s a process that includes close work with the Stylist, the Television Production Crew, The Set Designer, The Musical Director and many more.

It’s a truly a global effort with many artisans, from all over the world participating in the production of our looks.  We orchestrate a complex system where one piece could pass through as many as a dozen hands and a slew of different countries from inception to completion.  Finally everything ends up hanging on rails at the Collection Space, nice and sparkly,  ready for first fittings in New York

FFG: Do you play a part in selecting the models for the show as I can imagine your designs are suited for certain body types?

Mr. Thomas: I have my personal favorites but thankfully other people in the show are responsible in making the final cut decisions. I’m lucky I don’t have to make that decision because the criteria for choosing one of the Victoria’s Secret models are so high it’s very difficult.  

FFG: Did you have a favorite look from this year’s show? Is there one look from all the shows you’ve worked on that stands out above the rest?

Mr. Thomas: This year I just adored the Country Girls section and the crochet and gingham outfit Candice wore was a cutie because it was just so sweet, romantic and perfectly set the tone of the entire section.  I also liked the Race Car leather, color-blocked outfit on Karolina Kirkova for melding the perfect amounts of whimsy and sex appeal.   A monumental, stand out moment of past years,  was the “Highland Romance” section, which was just sweeping and epic, perhaps one of the best themes.  I’m prone to like some of the less obvious looks for sentimental reasons though, for example the abbreviated sexy stewardess pieces in “Come Fly With Me” for the restraint and   efficiencey in conveying an adorable tongue in cheek theme.

Sometimes, on television, it’s difficult to take in the artistic beauty in the smaller details.  If you looked, up close, in person, you would be amazed at how precisely and beautifully, and with an eye for detail, the looks are made.

FFG: What’s your personal style? 

Mr. Thomas: Survival, Utilitarian, Elegance

FFG: What’s a day in the life of Todd Thomas? 

Mr. Thomas: Full and varied with time set aside to focus on different interests and projects.  A little time for sketching, a little time for revving up the creative juices and finding inspiration, time for the daily tasks at hand and some time for restoration.  I really strive to have balance.  I like making a plan, being on time and getting things done.  “Coats on, come on People, let’s go!”

FFG: Would you prefer to have a walk in closet with a thousand looks or a basics wardrobe with 28 key pieces?

Mr. Thomas: I would prefer 28 key pieces, however in my milieu I’m afraid I’ve amassed a lot more than that.   I have many things I’ve pick up for reference and because of my fetishism of the construction of clothing.   It’s officially a walk in situation now.   

FFG: The one thing you simply can’t live without

Mr. Thomas: Caustic levity

FFG: Do you read blogs?

Mr. Thomas: Yes, whenever I’m mentioned.

A big thank you to Mr. Todd Thomas for taking time out of his day to talk to us! Can’t wait to see the show on TV…It’s airing on CBS (in the USA) on Tuesday, Nov. 30th 10:00pm ET


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