This article is about the fashion designer. For other uses, see.
Thomas Carlyle Ford (born August 27, 1961) is an American fashion designer, film director, screenwriter, and film producer. He launched his eponymous luxury brand in 2006, having previously served as the at luxury fashion houses and. Ford also directed the -nominated films (2009) and (2016).
Tom Ford was born on August 27, 1961, in, the son of Shirley Burton (née Shirley Ann Thrasher) and Thomas David Ford. He spent his early life in the suburbs of, and in, outside Austin; his family moved to, when he was 11. In Santa Fe, he entered and later moved to, from which he graduated in 1979.
At age 16, he enrolled at, but quickly dropped out. He moved to to study art history at (NYU).Ford dropped out of NYU after a year, focusing on acting in television commercials.
Ford began studying interior architecture at 's art and design college, in New York City. While in New York, he often visited, where he realized he was gay. The club's -era glamor would be a major influence on his later designs. Before his last year at New School, Ford spent a year and a half in Paris, where he worked as an intern in 's press office, inspiring his interest in fashion. He spent his final year at The New School studying fashion, but graduated with a degree in architecture.
When interviewing for jobs after graduation, Ford said that ford he had attended 's Parsons division, but concealed that he graduated in architecture, and that his work at Chloé was a low-level public relations position. Despite his lack of experience in fashion, Ford called American designer Cathy Hardwick every day for a month in hopes of securing a job at her sportswear company. Hardwick eventually agreed to interview him. She later recalled the incident: "I had every intention of giving him no hope. I asked him who his favorite European designers were. He said, ' and.' Months later I asked him why he said that, and he said, 'Because you were wearing something Armani'. Is it any wonder he got the job?" Ford worked as a design assistant for Hardwick for two years.
In 1988, Ford moved to, where he knew both Robert McDonald, the company's president, and, its designer, socially. He worked at the company for two years, but grew tired of working in American fashion. In a later interview with, 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."
At the time, Italian fashion house was struggling financially and was seeking to strengthen its women's ready-to-wear presence as a part of a brand overhaul. The company's creative director, said, "no one would dream of wearing Gucci". In 1990, Mello hired Ford as the brand's chief women's ready-to-wear designer and Ford moved to Milan. "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. During these years, there were creative tensions between Ford and Maurizio Gucci, the company's chairman and 50% owner. According to Mello, "Maurizio always wanted everything to be round and brown, and Tom wanted to make it square and black." Though Maurizio Gucci wanted to fire Ford, insisted that he remain. Nonetheless, Ford's work during the early 1990s was primarily behind the scenes; his contributions to Gucci were overshadowed by those of Mello, who was the company's public face.
Creative Director of Gucci and Saint LaurentEvening dress by Tom Ford for Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche. Selected as for 2004.
In 1994, Ford was promoted to Creative Director of. In his first year at the helm, he introduced -style velvet, skinny shirts and car-finish metallic patent boots. In 1995, he brought in French and photographer to create a series of new ad campaigns for the company. Between 1995 and 1996, sales at increased by 90%. At one point, Ford was the largest individual shareholder of Gucci stock and options. By 1999, the house, which had been almost bankrupt when Ford joined, was valued at more than billion.
When Gucci acquired the house of (YSL) in 1999, Ford was named Creative Director of that label as well. did not hide his displeasure with Ford's designs, stating "The poor man does what he can". During his time as creative director for YSL, Ford nonetheless won numerous Awards. Like his work at Gucci, Ford was able to pull the classic fashion house back into the mainstream. His advertising campaigns for the YSL fragrances (with a red-haired completely naked wearing only a necklace and stiletto heels in a sexually suggestive pose) and YSL (with champion in complete full-frontal nudity) were controversial and provocative.
In April 2004, Ford parted ways with the Gucci group after he and Domenico de Sole, who is credited as Ford's partner in Gucci's success, failed to agree with Pinault Printemps Redoute boss over control of the Group. He has since referred to this experience as "devastating" and as a "midlife crisis" because he had "put everything into that for fifteen years." When Ford left in 2004, was valued at billion. Four people were hired to split the work Ford had done.
Tom Ford labelTom Ford eyewear A Tom Ford boutique in Toronto
After leaving, Ford launched a line of menswear, beauty, eyewear, and accessories in 2006, named after himself, "Tom Ford". Dominico De Sole became chairman of the Tom Ford label.Ford has described "the Tom Ford customer" as international, cultured, well traveled, and possessing. For women, he added "strong women, … intelligent women who know their own style".
wore an ivory floor-length evening gown designed by Ford to in 2011.Ford has also dressed,,,,,,,,,,,, and.Ford designed 's suits for his last three films:,, and.
In 2013, Tom Ford was mentioned in 's song "", which was a collaboration with.Ford created the suits, shirts, and accessories for the "Suit & Tie" music video. He went on to dress Timberlake's, designing over 600 pieces for the tour. The same year, Jay Z released a song titled "" with "Tom Ford" rapped numerous times within the song.Ford responded that he was flattered and "it means that one has really penetrated and made an impact on popular culture." Following the song's release, Tom Ford received a huge spike in online search engine queries. The song would go on to sell over a million copies and become.
Ford has been criticized for using naked women in various ad campaigns. Various journalists asserted that the ads were vulgar, sexist, or objectified women. One ad featured a nude woman holding a bottle of the perfume between her legs. Another featured a naked woman ironing a man's pants while he read a newspaper. A separate ad was banned in Italy.
Responding to criticism that he objectified women, Ford stated he is an "equal opportunity objectifier" and is "just as happy to objectify men". He argued "you can't show male nudity in our culture in the way you can show female nudity" and pointed out that he did a male nude ad while at Yves Saint Laurent which got pulled.
In 2014, Ford released a new product, called the "Penis Pendant Necklace". The product caused some controversy, with Christians calling it offensive due to the pendant being shaped similar to a or.Ford replied that "it was not meant to be a cross, it was a phallus" and "people read into things what they want to".
Career as a film director
A Single Man
In March 2005, Ford announced the launch of his film production company, Fade to Black. In 2009 he made his directorial debut with, based on the novel of the same name by. The drama stars as an LA-based, gay college professor, alongside, and. The novel was adapted by and Ford; Ford was also one of the producers.
A Single Man premiered on September 11, 2009 at the, where it was nominated for top award the. Colin Firth was awarded the as Best Actor for his performance. He won a, and was nominated for an,, and and won AFI Film of the Year and the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Film - Wide Release.
Other nominations for the film included two further Golden Globe categories: Julianne Moore for Best Supporting Actress, and for Best Original Score. At the, the film was nominated for Best First Feature and Best First Screenplay.Ford and Scearce also received a nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay at the Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards.
In 2015, Ford became attached to direct, an adaptation of the novel. The film was released in 2016. and played the lead roles of Tony and Susan, and,,, and co-starred.
The film received praise from critics, as well as winning the at the. The film has an approval rating of 72% on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 143 reviews, with an average rating of 7.1/10, and the site's critical consensus reading: "Well-acted and lovely to look at, Nocturnal Animals further underscores writer-director Tom Ford's distinctive visual and narrative skill."
Ford is married to Richard Buckley, a journalist and former editor in chief of ; they have been in a relationship since meeting in 1986. The couple have a son, Alexander John "Jack" Buckley Ford, born in September 2012. The family lived in Italy, where Ford moved from New York in 1990.Ford lives in his residences in,, and.Ford and Buckley have owned, which have appeared on the runway and in his film. He constructed a 24,000-acre private tract designed by Japanese architect, in Santa Fe.
He told Vogue he had adopted a diet after viewing a Netflix documentary called.
Ford has said in multiple interviews that his first lover was the artist, who went on to write and illustrate the very popular children's book series. Ford maintains that he and Falconer are still good friends; decades after their breakup, Ford lent Falconer's last name to the title character of his first movie as a director, (in the source novel the character originally had only had a first name).
Ford is a. He disagreed with America's, stating that he felt "ashamed to be an American". His comment drew public criticism within America.Ford hosted a fundraiser for Obama. He voted for in the.
Ford has advocated for federal recognition of. In a 2009 interview, he said he preferred the term "civil partnership" for both opposite-sex and same-sex partnerships, and to leave "marriage" to religion to decide.
Public image and legacy
Ford has been included in several best-dressed lists, such as,'s "The 50 best-dressed over-50s", and 's "50 Best Dressed Men in Britain 2015". He was featured on the cover of the 2011 spring/summer issue of, giving his opinion on what makes the modern day gentleman. He has been called a "fashion icon" and a "style icon", and he was included in "All- 100 Fashion Icons" list. He won many awards including several VH1/Vogue Fashion Awards and (CFDA) Awards. In 2014, the CFDA awarded him the.
While Ford has been in a relationship for many years, he "continues to promote himself with a youthful and sexually charged image." He is known for sexy clothes, making provocative statements, and creating racy advertisements.Ford's designs convey a "sophisticated sex appeal" and he has been credited for "bringing sexy back". His advertisement campaigns have drawn controversy for use of nudity and "provocative sexual imagery".Ford is also known to pose with celebrities and models in his ad campaigns. He has been called the "King of Sex" and "the straightest gay man in the world".
Ford saved from near bankruptcy and transformed it into a fashion powerhouse. His decade as the creative director was a "golden era" for Gucci. He turned the brand around, replacing the "grunge look" with "sexy, yet sophisticated, clothes". He is known for his bold designs. The wrote "Every season, Ford created an 'It' piece, a must-have, a season-defining trend, photographed to death, knocked off."Ford says it is important for designers to be contemporary and current with the changing standard of beauty.
Awards and nominations
Ford has been recognized by important design and cultural councils worldwide, including the and.
- 1995: International Award – (CFDA)
- 1997: People Magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People
- 1999: Style Icon Award – Elle Style Awards UK
- 2000: Best International Designer – VH1/Vogue Awards
- 2000: Fashion Editors Club of Japan Award
- 2000: British GQ International Man of the Year Award
- 2000: Superstar Award –
- 2001: Womenswear Designer of the Year – CFDA
- 2001: Best Fashion Designer – Time Magazine
- 2001: Designer of the Year – GQ USA
- 2002: Accessory Designer of the Year Award for – CFDA
- 2003: Fashion Design Achievement Award – Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum's National Design Awards
- 2004: Board of Directors Special Tribute – CFDA
- 2004: Rodeo Drive Walk of Style Award
- 2004: Hall of Fame
- 2005: Lifetime Achievement Award –
- 2006: Accessory Brand Launch – Excellence (ACE) Awards
- 2007: – Victor Russo Award
- 2007: 's Person of the Year
- 2008: Menswear Designer of the Year – CFDA
- 2009: – for (nominee)
- 2009: – for
- 2009: Critics Choice Awards – Best Adapted Screenplay for A Single Man (nominee)
- 2009: Independent Spirit Awards – Best First Screenplay for A Single Man (nominee)
- 2009: Independent Spirit Awards – Best First Feature for A Single Man (nominee)
- 2009: Honored as one of GQ USA's Men of the Year
- 2009: GQ Germany Man of the Year
- 2010: GLAAD Media Awards – Outstanding Film Wide Release for A Single Man
- 2010: Menswear Designer of the Year – CFDA (nominee)
- 2012: All-TIME 100 Fashion Icons – Member
- 2013: Named one of the 50 best-dressed over 50s by.
- 2014: Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award – CFDA
- 2015: Menswear Designer of the Year – CFDA
- 2015: Named in 's 50 best-dressed men in Britain
- 2016: – for 
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