Tom Ford is arguably the most influential fashion designer of the last decade. Having initially trained to be an actor, he studied interior architecture at Parsons School of Design. He went on to take positions at Perry Ellis and Cathy Hardwick, before joining Gucci in 1990. In 1994, when Gucci was acquired by the Bahrain-based investment firm InvestCorp, Ford was promoted to creative director and soon there after moved to Milan with his partner of seventeen years, Vogue Hommes International editor Richard Buckley.
In his first year at Gucci, he was credited with putting the undeniable glamour and sex appeal back into fashion. After Gucci bought a controlling stake in the legendary fashion house Yves Saint Laurent, Ford was appointed creative director of YSL also, as well as communications director of the house’s ready-to-wear business.
In 2000, Ford was named Best International Designer at the first VH1/Vogue Awards. Then in April of 2004, Ford parted ways with the Gucci Group after he and CEO Domenico de Sole failed to agree with the bosses over creative control. When Ford left Gucci many, many rumors circulated about his next move. Many thought he would go straight to Hollywood (which Ford says is still a possibility), but most recently he has joined forces with Estee Lauder Cosmetics to revamp their brand.
He has also launched a line of sunglasses under his own name, has plans for a menswear line and a new boutique on New York’s famed Madison Avenue.