Today we have an American designer profile her, a great one actually.
Tom Ford was born in Austin, Texas in 1962, but spent most of his childhood years back in Santa Fe, New Mexico. His mother was a colourful Southern lady who had 6 husbands and a cupboard full of Courreges suits. She taught him that being badly dressed was disrespectful of others. He spent most of his childhood worrying about how he looked. At 12 she bought him a pair of Gucci loafers.
Tom Ford enrolled on an art history course at New York University and was also trained as an actor. It was there he discovered the seminal Studio 54 nightclub and Warhol’s Factory, where he met pop artist Andy Warhol for the first time.
|Ford at Studio 54|
|Tom Ford ith only 20 years old|
From then on, school was out and partying was in. Signing up as a model – at one point he had no fewer than 12 TV commercials running at the same time – he dropped out of NYU after his freshman year. Tom Ford transferred toParsons School of Design in New York studying interior architecture. He later moved on to finish his studies at Parsons in Paris, France.
By the end of the course Ford he realised that he wanted to work in fashion.
As soon as his studies were completed in 1986, Ford quickly returned to New York where he began his professional training.In 1986, he joined the creative staff of the American famous designer Cathy Hardwick.
In1988, he made the transition to Perry Ellis where he took on the position of Design Director under Marc Jacobs. Tom didn’t make a name for himself in the business until he relocated to Europe in 1990 and landed a position with Gucci. Tom’s partner, journalist Richard Buckley, had become ill with cancer and, after he was given the all-clear at the start of the Nineties, the two decided to leave the stress of New York behind and head for Italy.
Ford was hired by Gucci as chief women’s ready-to-wear designer. A few years passed, and in 1992, he moved up the corporate ladder of the fashion world and once again took on the role of Design Director. Business went bad for Gucci and Tom Ford was almost fired in 1993, but this was counteracted by Domenico de Sole, director of Gucci America Inc.When, in 1994, Gucci was acquired by a Bahrain-based investment firm called Investcorp, Ford was promoted to creative director. He was responsible for the design and conception of all product lines within the company; clothing, perfumes, and more. He also had to create and carry through the company’s image, its advertising campaigns and store design.
Tom Ford became the most influential designer of the last decade.
In his first year at the helm, he was credited with putting the glamour back into fashion. Gucci became a byword for desirability, offering the most aspirational and hedonistic kind of fashion.
In 1995, he brought in French stylist Carine Roitfeld and photographer Mario Testino to create a series of new, modern ad campaigns for the company.
The lights went on in the house of Gucci.Gucci personified glamour, dangerous, sexy, modern and slightly rough. By 1999, the house, which had been lmost bankrupt when Ford joined, was valued at about $4.3 billion.
After Gucci bought a controlling stake in Yves Saint Laurent in 2000, Ford was appointed creative director of YSL, too, and communications director of the house’s ready-to-wear business, while continuing to design for Gucci.
A mighty challenge certainly, but Ford was adamant, he could keep the two labels distinct. “Historically, [Gucci] is Sophia Loren. Yves Saint Laurent is Catherine Deneuve. They’re both sexy,” he told British Vogue in February 2001. “It’s just that Gucci is a little more obvious than Saint Laurent.
In 2000, the Gucci group added Yves Saint Laurent to their stable and, unsurprisingly, Tom’s first collection for the French label was a study in black and white.
In that year, Ford was named Best International Designer at the first VH1/Vogue Awards in New York.
.In 2001, Tom Ford won the CFDA Womenswear Designer of the Year award, and TIME magazine named him the Best American Designer.
His visionary look of the fashion industry has been the center of attention as he has won many awards like the Council of Fashion Designers of America award for International Designer of the Year in 1996. That same year, he also won the International Designer of the Year – Fashion Editors Club Japan 1996; Menswear and Womenswear Designer of the Year.
He also owns four VH-1 Fashion and Music Awards and a Fashion’s Future Best New Designer prize that he was awarded in 1995. His list of awards also includes a Womenswear Designer of the Year in 1999, an Elle Style Icon Award in 1999; and a Commitment to Life Award from AIDS Project Los Angeles for Gucci’s charitable work in support of people with HIV and AIDS.
He has made profits soar at Gucci, which was faltering when he took over. During this year there seems to have been some disagreement between Yves St. Laurent and Tom Ford about the way YSL was proceeding. This led to the resignation of Yves St. Laurent in January 2002 from the company he had built. Gucci bought out YSL Rive Gauche and appointed Tom Ford to take up the design responsibilities of YSL Ruve Gauche ready-to-wear.
His collections Spring/Summer 2003 for Gucci and YSL during Paris Fashion Week in October 2002 has concentrated on animal prints on caftans and flowing gowns, pants and tops.
Ford divided his time in true jet-setter style between Milan, Paris, London (now home to the new Gucci design studio) and Santa Fe, Texas, home to his terrior John who has his own Gucci dog basket.In
November 2003 it was announced that Tom and chief executive Domenico De Sole would be leaving the Italy brand in 2004 “with great sadness” but Ford said he was “confident that we are leaving behind one of the strongest teams in the industry.” Then in March 2004, he presented his last collections for YSL Rive Gauche and Gucci, amid very emotional farewells. Both collections were smash hits.At the end of March, Los Angeles feted him at an event attended by 800 of the Hollywood personalities with whom he has built up a personal following over the years, and he was awarded the Rodeo Drive Walk of Style Award. It was rumoured that Tom was planning to move into the Film Industry.
Ford once claimed that he thought models had “the most horrible, tough job in the world”, adding that Caroline Ribeiro was his favorite model (“Her face is an unusual blend of cultures”). He also revealed that he doesn’t expect to be designing forever. Included on his list of lifetime to-dos are having children (although work commitments and his longtime partner Richard Buckley are currently conspiring against him) and making a film. “That is the ultimate design project,” he says. “You don’t just get to design what people wear, but you design the whole world and whether characters get to live or die.
In March 2005, Ford announced the opening of his film production company, FADE TO BLACK, through which he directed, produced and co-wrote his first feature film entitled ‘A Single Man’. Adapted from the Christopher Isherwood novel of the same name, the film stars Colin Firth, Julianne Moore, Matthew Goode and Nicholas Hoult. ‘A Single Man’ premiered at the 66th annual Venice Film Festival and was released in December 2009. The film received multiple awards and nominations including an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor for Colin Firth, Independent Spirit Award nominations for Best First Feature and Best First Screenplay for Tom Ford, Golden Globe nominations for Colin Firth and Julianne Moore for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress, Best Actor awards for Colin Firth at the Venice Film Festival and the BAFTA’s, and Outstanding Film (Wide Release) for Tom Ford at the GLAAD Media Awards.
In April 2005, Ford announced the creation of the TOM FORD brand. Ford was joined in this venture by former Gucci Group President and Chief Executive Officer Domenico De Sole, who serves as Chairman of the company. In that same year, Ford announced his partnership with Marcolin Group to produce and distribute optical frames and sunglasses, as well as an alliance with Esteé Lauder to create the TOM FORD beauty brand. There are currently 15 private blend and 6 signature fragrances in the TOM FORD beauty collection, as well as a complete cosmetics collection, which launched in Fall 2011. Both the eyewear and beauty collections have been hugely successful and rank in the top 3 brands at specialty stores worldwide.
Presently, there are 49 freestanding TOM FORD stores and shop-in-shops in locations such as Milan, Tokyo, Las Vegas, Dubai, Zurich, New Delhi, Shanghai and Russia.