Born In: Austin, Texas, United States
The mere utterance of the name Tom Ford brings to mind style, flamboyance, and class! One of the most prominent fashion designers of the 21st century, he is the mastermind behind turning the fate of Gucci, from being a mere dilapidated accessories brand into one of the most desirable luxury brands around the world. He brought an uncompromising style with a 21st-century appeal to all his designs, which captured the fancy of his clients, who were majorly from Hollywood. Raised in New Mexico, he initially displayed a passion for acting and then went on to study architecture and art history, before making a debut as a fashion designer. In his final year as an architecture student, his love for fashion was elicited. From being Cathy Hardwick’s design assistant to becoming a prominent women’s ready-to-wear designer and creative director at Gucci, he has been living his dream of bringing about a change in the world of fashion. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that he changed the way the world perceived the brand and cemented his place in the fashion fraternity forever. Some of his patrons include the likes of Madonna, Trudie Styler, and Bianca Jagger. An openly homosexual, Ford gained international fame for his famous makeover of the Gucci fashion house and the introduction of the ‘Tom Ford’ fashion label. If you would like to learn more about this stylish personality, scroll further.
Also Known As: Thomas Carlyle Ford
Spouse/Ex-: Richard Buckley
father: Tom Ford
mother: Shirley Burton
Born Country: United States
Notable Alumni: Parsons School Of Design, American University Of Paris
City: Austin, Texas
U.S. State: Texas
education: American University Of Paris, Parsons School Of Design
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Thomas Carlyle ‘Tom’ Ford’ was born on August 27, 1961, to realtors, Shirley Burton and Tom Ford, in Austin, Texas. He spent his early life in Houston, San Marcos, and Santa Fe.
He studied at St. Michael’s High School and at Santa Fe Preparatory School, from where he graduated in 1979. He enrolled at Bard College at Simon’s Rock and then moved to the Big Apple to study art history at New York University (NYU).
He began to focus on acting for television commercials and dropped out of NYU after only one year. He then began studying architecture at Parsons The New School for Design.
In his final year as an architecture student, he spent a year in Paris, where he interned at Chloe’s press office. He spent the remainder part of his final year studying fashion, but nonetheless, graduated with a degree in architecture in 1986.
Right after he graduated from university, he was keen on working for Cathy Hardwick, an American designer. He called her every day in the hope of securing a job under her one day, and so he did. He worked with her as a design assistant for two years.
In 1988, he worked at the clothing brand, Perry Ellis, with whom he worked for two years. However, he grew tired of American fashion and decided to venture out into the world of European fashion which according to him, was ‘classier’.
He relocated to Milan in 1990 and was appointed as the chief women’s ready-to-wear designer at the failing European luxury goods brand, Gucci.
In 1992, he took over as Gucci’s design director and within a matter of months expanded menswear and other apparel sections. He also led the brand’s pret-a-porter fragrances, image, advertising, and store design.
In 1993, he was in charge of eleven product lines and even though most of the popular creations were his, his contributions were dwarfed by those of Mello, who was the face of the company.
He was promoted to the position of creative director in 1994 and was credited for bringing the ‘glamor’ back into fashion with fashionable hipsters, satin shirts, and metallic boots, most of which were inspired by the disco era, which influenced his fashion sense in his younger days.
In 1995, Gucci came out with an IPO on the strength of Ford’s designs. By 1999, the brand that was once dying, had a value of almost $4.3 billion, which is mostly credited to Ford and his creative genius.
When Yves Saint Laurent (YSL) was acquired by Gucci, Ford was made the head creative director of that brand too, dislodging Saint Laurent himself as the official designer of the company’s retail line.
His advertising campaigns for YSL fragrances became extremely famous due to their bold yet creative arty expressions. This catapulted both the fashion houses back into the limelight.
In 2004, Ford left the Gucci group at a time when it was valued at $10 billion. After he left Gucci, he launched a new line of beauty, eyewear, accessories, and menswear, which he introduced under the ‘Tom Ford’ label two years later.
In 2005, he announced the opening of his film production company, ‘FADE TO BLOCK’, and made his directorial debut with the film, ‘A Single Man’, in the year 2009.
His first star store, bearing his own name, ‘Tom Ford’, was inaugurated on April 12, 2007, in New York City. In the subsequent years, several ‘Tom Ford’ stores have been opened in London, Tokyo, Milan, and Los Angeles.
In 2011, he was featured on the cover of the bi-annual publication ‘AnOther Man’. In 2013, he designed the suits and accessories for the music video of Justin Timberlake's song ”Suit & Tie.”
In 2022, his brand was purchased by Estée Lauder. That same year, he stepped down as his brand’s creative director.
His collections Spring/Summer 2003 for Gucci and YSL, which was launched at the Paris Fashion Week, is regarded as one of his greatest collections. This fashion line focused largely on animal prints on t-shirts, pants, kaftans, and gowns. The line became a true trendsetter as it was introduced during a time when animal prints were in vogue.
He made his directorial debut with ‘A Single Man’, which was released in 2009. The film was considered unconventional and received rave ratings from the audience and critics. The movie went on to collect a total of $24,964,890 at the box office and was featured at a number of prominent festivals including the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival. The movie was also nominated for an Academy Award in the category of ‘Best Actor’, the BAFTA Award, and the Independent Spirit Award.
In 1995, he was honored with the International Award by the Council of Fashion Designers of America.
In 2000, he won the VHI/Vogue Awards for ‘Best International Designer’.
The Council of Fashion Designers of America elected him for ‘Best Womenswear Designer of the Year’, in 2001.
In 2009, Tom Ford’s film, ‘A Single Man’ won the Queer Lion at the Venice Film Festival.
In 2013, he was featured in the list of ‘50 best-dressed over 50s’ by the ‘Guardian’.
Tom Ford started dating Richard Buckley, who is a journalist. They have been together since 1986. Three years after being together, Buckley was diagnosed with cancer.
After his partner recovered, they moved to Italy and had a son named, Alexander John Buckley Ford, through surrogacy, who was born in September 2012. In 2014, the couple got married.
While this legendary American designer was studying architecture at Parsons The New School for Design, he was a regular at the club, ‘Studio 54’, where he discovered that he was gay.
This famous American designer’s smooth fox terriers have appeared in his movie, ‘A Single Man’ and one has even walked the ramp with this famous designer and has appeared with him in a few photos.
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