Biography of Tom Ford
om Ford, Fashion Profile: Born in Austin Texas August 27, 1961 and moved to New York as soon as he could by age 18. He enrolled in school at New York University where he took Art History but soon decided that fashion was where it was at and finished his degree at Parsons University.
Tom Ford was ambitious and decided to intern at Chloe a year before he finished school at Parsons. He was an errand boy delivering clothing to shoots and watched what went on at the many photo shoots. This sparked his interests in Fashion and he was a changed man when he returned home from Paris.
Tom Ford’s degree from Parson’s should really have been a design degree (instead of an architectural degree, which it was) because the last year was spent completely focusing on fashion and design. From there Ford decided he wanted to work with Cathy Hardwick as a design assistant and after acquiring that job and working hard for two years Tom Ford moved on to Perry Ellis and was there for another two years.
During this time Tom spent a lot of time at Studio 54 where he learnt the glamour of New York Society as well as the fact that he was gay. During his time with Cathy Hardwick Tom fell for fashion Journalist Richard Buckley and as for that tale, the rest is history
- (as they are still together to this day).
Tom Ford, feeling repressed and uninspired with the American fashion scene took a position with a Gucci as a womens wear designer, which (at the time) was a bold move and thought of as ill advised, as the European fashion houses were struggling financially. Once in Milan Ford wasted no time and as a testament of his talents he quickly gained the admiration of his employers and was given the role of men’s and shoes designer for Gucci in addition to womens. His vision carried him to the designer of eleven product lines within the Gucci name and single handedly put Gucci back on the map by increasing visibility of the brand from North America.
In 1994 Form became Creative Director for Gucci and in 1995 Tom hired Mario Testino to shoot ground-breaking ad campaigns giving Gucci a new look that eventually increased sales 90%. Gucci went public in 1995 and shares went from $22 to $75 per share in 1999. In no time fashion giants wanted to acquire Gucci and who better to do it than LVMH. Tom Ford took Gucci from being in the toilette to a 10 Billion dollar business by 2004.
Once LVMH acquired Yves Saint Laurent and Ford quickly took over as Creative Director of that fashion house as well. After winning several awards with YSL and bringing attention to yet another French fashion house that was nearing bankruptcy Tom Ford parted ways with the LVMH conglomerate in 2004 due to artistic differences. He and Domenico De Sole (CEO of LVMH) left and started the global TOM FORD brand in 2005.
The TOM FORD men’s collection was launched first followed by accessories and then the beauty line. TOM FORD women’s was launched in 2010 with the first collection shown out of his New York Flagship store in a very private setting demanding that no cameras or cell phones were allowed in the store. The line will hit stores this September 2011 and everyone is very excited for the launch. I anticipate very strong retail sales both in New York, The Americas, and the rest of the world.
- Fun Fashion Fact: TOM FORD had an exclusive agreement with the James Bond film Quantum of Solace and produced all the clothing for Daniel Craig
- Fun Fashion Fact: Tom Ford once had an interview with Interview Magazine and he and the interviewer decided to do the questionnaire completely in the buck! Sadly no pictures.
Tom Ford Timeline:
- 1961 – Tom Ford is Born
- 1979 – Graduates from Santa Fe Prepatory School
- 1980 – Tom Ford Moves to New York to take Art History at New York University
- 1981 – Changes his focus to Interior Architechture and goes to Parsons in New York
- 1983 – Stays in Italy for a year to work with Chloe as an intern
- 1984 – Finished last year at Parsons with a design focus
- 1986 – Tom Ford and Richard Burkley meet
- 1986 – Ford works for Cathy Hardwich
- 1988 – Tom Ford works at Perry Ellis
- 1990 – Tom Ford moves to Milan to design for Gucci
- 1994 – Ford gets promoted to Creative Director of Gucci
- 2000 – Tom Ford becomes Creative Director of Yves Saint Laurent
- 2004 – Tom leaves the Gucci Group and moves back to New York
- 2005 – Announced the opening of his Film Production company FADE TO BLACK
- 2005 – Creation of the TOM FORD brand
- 2005 – Launch of Black Orchid
- 2005-06 – TOM FORD announced its partnership with Marcolin Group to produce and distribute optical frames and sunglasses
- 2007 – Opening of New York Flagship store at 845 Madison Avenue
- 2007 – Launch of the TOM FORD menswear fashion collection and men’s accessories collection
- 2008 – Daniel Craig as James Bond outfitted head-to-toe in TOM FORD in Quantum of Solace
- 2009 – Tom Ford co-writes, directs, and produces “A Single Man” which premieres at the 66th annual Venice film festival which is nominated for many awards
- 2010 September– Launch of TOM FORD Women’s Spring Summer 2011 Haute Couture fashion collection
- 2010 – 21 Tom Ford stores worldwide including shop-in-shops such as Milan, Tokyo, Las Vegas, Dubai, Zurich, and Russia
Tom Ford Awards:
- 1995: International Award – Council of Fashion Designers of America
- 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 – Fashion Group International
- 2001: Womenswear Designer of the Year – Council of Fashion Designers of America
- 2001: Best Fashion Designer – TIME Magazine
- 2001: Designer of the Year – GQ USA
- 2001: Board of Directors Special Tribute – Council of Fashion Designers of America
- 2002: Accessory Designer of the Year Award for Yves Saint-Laurent – Council of Fashion Designers of America
- 2003: Fashion Design Achievement Award – Cooper Hewitt Design Museum’s National Design Awards
- 2004: Rodeo Drive Walk of Style Award
- 2004: International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame
- 2005: Andre Leon Talley Lifetime Achievement Award – Savannah College of Art & Design
- 2006: Accessory Brand Launch – Accessories Council Excellence (ACE) Awards 
- 2007: GLAAD Media Awards – Victor Russo Award
- 2007: DNR’s Person of the Year
- 2008: Menswear Designer of the Year – Council of Fashion Designers of America
- 2009: Venice Film Festival – Golden Lion for “A Single Man” (Nominee)
- 2009: Venice Film Festival – Queer Lion for “A Single Man”
- 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 – Council of Fashion Designers of America (Nominee)