American fashion designer and film director Thomas Carlyle “Tom” Ford (born August 27, 1961) gained international fame for his turnaround of Gucci and the creation of the Tom Ford label before directing the Oscar-nominated film a Single Man.
Ford graduated with a degree in architecture at the famous art and design college The New School with experience studying fashion design his final year. He then worked as a design assistant for Cathy Hardwick for two years. Afterwards moved to Perry Ellis, where he knew both Robert McDonald, the company’s president, and Marc Jacobs, its designer, socially. He stayed with the company for two years, but grew tired of working in American fashion. In a later interview with the New York Times, he commented, “If I was ever going to become a good designer, I had to leave America. My own culture was inhibiting me. Too much style in America is tacky. It’s looked down upon to be too stylish. Europeans, however, appreciate style.” Ford would soon have the opportunity to enter the world of European fashion; Gucci, a faltering luxury goods company, was seeking to strengthen its women’s ready-to-wear presence as a part of a brand overhaul. At the time, “no one would dream of wearing Gucci,” said Dawn Mello, then the company’s creative director. Mello hired Ford—then a near-unknown—as the brand’s chief women’s ready-to-wear designer in 1990.”I was talking to a lot of people, and most didn’t want the job,” Mello said. “For an American designer to move to Italy to join a company that was far from being a brand would have been pretty risky.” Ford and his longtime partner, fashion journalist Richard Buckley, relocated to Milan that September.
Ford’s role at Gucci rapidly expanded; he was designing menswear within six months, and shoes soon after that. When Richard Lambertson left as design director in 1992, Ford took over his position, heading the brand’s ready-to-wear, fragrances, image, advertising, and store design. In 1993, when he was in charge of designing eleven product lines, Ford worked eighteen-hour days.
After leaving Gucci, Ford launched a line of menswear, beauty, eyewear, and accessories in 2006. Dominico De Sole became chairman of the Tom Ford label. In March 2011, Ford was featured on the cover of the bi-annual publication AnOther Man, the fraternal counterpart to Another Magazine, giving his opinion on what makes the modern day gentleman. In 2015, he was named one of GQ’s 50 best-dressed British men.
About Author: Starr Dalton is a Florida Native. Father is from Sao Paulo Brazil and Mother from Tennesse with Cherokee Indian background. Starr completed 3 year program at Winter Park Tech in Interior Decor. She has experience being in front of and behind the scenes in modeling, runway shows and acting. She is currently the Talent Director for Fierce Entertainment Management who coordinates Orlando International Fashion week and Florida Fashion Weekend.