Tom Ford - fashion powerhouse
A quick look at the man, and the business, of the fashion powerhouse that is Tom Ford.
- 27th August 1961.
- Austin, Texas.
- Parsons The New School for Design (interior architecture).
- Ford’s introduction to the world of fashion was while he was working at Chloé in Paris.
- After stints at US designers Cathy Hardwick and Perry Ellis, Ford made his reputation by moving to Milan and turning around the failing Gucci fashion house.
- Ford has since gone on to create the Tom Ford International label.
- Ford’s first foray into the world of film was a resounding success — his stylish and studied 2009 adaptation of the Christopher Isherwood novel A Single Man was critically acclaimed and award winning.
- His follow-up film, Nocturnal Animals, is a stunningly stylish and taut thriller. Ford adapted the screenplay and directed. It’s incredibly accomplished.
- Ford originally moved to New York City to study art history at New York University, but dropped out after one year to focus on his acting career — he appeared in a number of television commercials.
- During his time in New York, Ford was a fixture at legendary nightclub Studio 54. The club’s disco-driven glamour remains a continuing creative touch-point.
- Ford and his husband, fashion journalist Richard Buckley, have been together since they met 1986. Their son Alexander was born in September 2012.
The Gucci Turnaround
- By the late 1980s, Gucci — the once aspirational fashion powerhouse — had faltered, and had become known as a declining luxury goods company.
- In a risky move for Gucci, the then-unknown Tom Ford was hired as the brand’s chief women’s ready-to-wear designer in 1990.
- Ford’s role at Gucci quickly expanded, soon he was also designing menswear, fragrances, advertising, and store design.
- By 1993 he was in charge of designing eleven product lines.
- In 1994 Ford was promoted to the key position of creative director. Glamour became synonymous with Gucci, and in 1995 photographer Mario Testino was brought in to create a new advertising campaign.
- For the financial period of 1995–1996, sales at Gucci increased by 90%.
- By 1999, the house of Gucci — which had been almost bankrupt at the time that Ford joined — was valued at USD$4.3billion.
- When Ford left in 2004, the Gucci group was valued at USD$10billion.
Tom Ford International
- 2005 saw the launch of Tom Ford International which produced womenswear, optical frames and sunglasses, as well as the Tom Ford beauty brand.
- In 2007 Ford launched his own directly owned flagship store on Madison Avenue in New York — coinciding with the launch of the Tom Ford menswear and accessory collection.
- At last count, there are 49 freestanding Tom Ford stores and in-store concessions around the world, including Milan, Tokyo, Las Vegas, Dubai, Zurich, New Delhi, Shanghai and Russia.
- The fragrance line produced by Tom Ford has become synonymous with quality and aspirational style — with the price tag to match. Most of the fragrance names are fairly descriptive of the scents that have been used to create the fragrance — White Patchouli; Velvet Orchid; or Grey Vetiver are examples. But there’s also a cheeky sense of fun — our favourite fragrance from Ford is simply called Fucking Fabulous.