Tom Ford is an American fashion designer. Ford designs both men and women’s collections. He well know for his style and tailoring of his clothes. He is widely credited with reinventing the House of Gucci. “He was a genius,” said Emma Ross of the Elsa Ross boutique in Albuquerque. “His clothing, handbag and shoe designs made all women aware of his status.”
Ford attended Parsons The New School for Design and started working for the designer, Cathy Hardwick. Later in 1988 he moved on to the fashion company Perry Ellis. He worked as a designer for over two years at then landed a job at Gucci in Europe. At the time the line was losing much of its status and clout in the industry, relying mainly on it’s traditional historical lines to stay afloat. Ford was named the chief of women’s ready-to-wear lines. This was at the time a major risk since Tom was American and many felt the he didn’t have the sensibilities to take on a major European fashion house. For Gucci the risk paid off. The collection quickly started to see some life put back into the line. Soon tome was designing the menswear collection then the shoe lines. In 1992 Ford took over as design director, where he was overseeing the brand’s entire ready-to-wear lines, fragrances, brand image, store displays and advertising. In 1995, managed to convince stylist Carine Roitfeld and photographer Mario Testino to develop a new more modern and sexy ad campaign for the company. Within five years since his arrival Gucci, which was on the edge of going bankrupt, was now clearing a profit of $4.3 billion.
In January 2000 Tom Ford assumed the position of Creative Director of Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche and YSL Beaute while continuing his duties at Gucci. Ford headed all the creative teams at YSL to redefine the entire image and positioning of the YSL brand encompassing all product categories and communication activities. One of his most memorable works at the time was His advertising campaigns for the YSL fragrances Opium. The ad included a red-haired Sophie Dahl naked wearing only a necklace and stiletto heels standing suggestively, and another ad for the men’s fragrance, YSL m7, had martial artist Samuel de Cubber completely and full frontedly nude. Both of the a campaigns were regarded as overly provocative, and credited for pushing fragrance marketing to a new height of high-impact creativity.
After Ford left Gucci he worked the make-up company Estee Lauder and developed a line beauty products and fragrances. This was later expanded to include Tom Ford branded eyewear. In 2008 Ford opened his first shop under his own name. This soon led to an expansion of around 100 retail boutiques around the world. Today the Tom Ford brand includes high-end and ready-to-wear collections for both men and women, shoes, accessories, fragrances, eyewear, leather goods and a limited houseware collection.