If women’s fashion is the lifeblood of the entire industry, men’s fashion is its constitution. For women, fashion makes everything go round but for men fashion is strict and absolute. Women are more explorative in styling, continuously seeking different sides in terms of designs. Men are clingier to their own identity, executing the facade that is very personal and close to their character. When it comes to men, they are more certain on what they want.
In terms of international luxury fashion label for men, one of the brands that have a respectable reputation in the entire industry is Tom Ford. Tom Ford is known to be very particular in details as well as its precision in tailoring. What made this brand reach its position is its supremacy in execution. Mr. Tom Ford himself said that “Menswear is a detail-driven business”. This only proves that his brand is made to create immaculately designed high end and casual clothing as well as accessories and beauty.
If high fashion is your thing, you must definitely know about this prominent menswear brand. You should probably be aware of how this label has been dominating the men’s and even women’s fashion system. There are many other aspects that are to blame in this brand’s success but the pillar to its credibility and reputation is its founder, Tom Ford himself.
Thomas Carlyle “Tom” Ford
Tom Ford is a 56 years old all American Texas born film director, screenwriter, film producer and a proud fashion designer. Tom Ford, in his younger years, always wanted to become a famous actor. He dropped out in various universities during college because of his interests in acting. He was enrolled at the Bard College at Simon’s Rock and in New York University but bailed his studies to focus on his blossoming career in TV commercial acting. It was when he was introduced to acting that he discovered his passion for arts. He personally decided to enrol himself to Parsons The New School for Design taking up interior architecture. Before his graduation, he had an internship in another popular Parisian brand, Chloe. There, his interest for fashion was nurtured.
Despite being raised in the United States, Tom Ford always had his eyes and ears on European style. He admitted that even though he is all American, he is more inclined to create designs that are inspired by the European culture. He even said that “Too much style in America is tacky. It’s looked upon to be too stylish. Europeans, however, appreciate style.” His big break in his fashion designing career was with an Italian brand, Gucci, as the creative director. It is followed by another huge responsibility as the creative director of Yves Saint Laurent. Working for these world-renowned luxury labels is no need explaining that Tom Ford has the talent and the skills in his craft.
In 2006, the proficient designer Tom Ford launched his very own brand. Having sufficient know-how in designing and tailoring, his brand instantly became a hit in the industry. His previous experience designing for Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent built up his expertise and also his confidence to set apart from such luxury brands to establish his very own opulent label. Tom Ford personally dressed countless TV stars, politicians, concert kings and queens and internationally known influential individuals. The long lists of personalities include Anne Hathaway, Tom Hanks, Gwyneth Paltrow, Beyonce, Will Smith, Hugh Jackman, and Michelle Obama and so on. His craftsmanship is showcased in almost each of the Hollywood red carpet events. Even in movies, his creations are always featured especially his magnificently made suits and tie, have been seen in movies such as in the James bond films. This only shows how high profile Tom Ford is and his excellence in making precise and refined suit and tie for men.
A Contemporary Classic Brand for Men and Women
As years went by, Tom Ford explored women’s wear and it did not disappoint. Its founder expanded his scope in fashion and established a women’s line that embodies strength and intelligence. Just like his aim in his menswear collections, he wants to cater for women who are internationally cultured and well traveled. He also launched footwear, accessories and beauty for both genders.
Ever since the foundation of this world-class brand, it gained the attention and trust of everyone in the fashion industry; from customers to its competitors. Its success manifested through the countless recognition and awards it received. Some of his awards include Vogue Fashion Awards in 1995, 1996, 1999 and 2002. He was also awarded by the Prestigious Council of Fashion Designers of America for the years 1995, 2001, 2002, 2004 and 2008. He was also the Best Designer o the Year in 2001 by GQ. He also received the Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award during the CFDA Awards last 2014. With Tom Ford, you can only expect high fashion design and styling, premium quality materials and great conceptualization of details and proportion. On top of that, its acclaimed secret to its progressing fame is the maison’s sharp tailoring. This brand always assures that tailoring is executed to perfection.
The History of Tom Ford
From the late 70’s to today, fashion designers have become celebrated personalities in their own right. Alongside the emergence of the supermodels in the 1980’s, superstar designers began rising to fame as well, with the likes of Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, and Thierry Mugler becoming hot topics among gossip columns. It was a bombastic time in the fashion industry, and to this day, fashion designers have become as famous as the models on their catwalk and the celebrities they’ve dressed. In the 1990’s, when a new generation of taste-makers started dominating the industry, none was quite like the handsome and alluring Tom Ford.
He was born in Austin, Texas on August 27, 1961, to a modest, middle-class family of realtors. He spent his early years in Houston, Texas but grew up in adolescents in Sante Fe, New Mexico when his family moved there when he was 11 years old. He then moved to New York City to study art history at New York University but dropped out after just one year. Subsequently, he tried his hand at acting, getting a few jobs in commercials when he moved to California. He eventually went back to school in New York and studied architecture in the prestigious Parsons The New School of Design, but quickly shifted to fashion design after a few semesters.
Upon graduation, he was introduced to a flurry of prominent figures within the fashion industry, such as artist Andy Warhol and model Jerry Hall, through Studio 24, one of the hottest nightclubs in New York City at that time. He was eventually employed by sportswear designer Cathy Hardwick and worked for her for two years before switching to Perry Ellis. There, he worked with fellow designer and friend Marc Jacobs, also spending two years before moving to Europe, in the hopes of getting a bigger fashion career.
In Europe, he caught the eye of Italian luxury brand Gucci, which at that time was struggling financially under creative director Dawn Mello. In 1994, Ford replaced Mello as creative director of the label and rose to fashion prominence for his work at the house. His style was outrageously sexy and unapologetically glamorous, finding inspiration from controversial areas like BDSM. In 1997, he sent out a collection of white jersey evening gowns, cut out in some of the most vulnerable areas, which was met with universal acclaim and became a definitive moment in the brand’s history. In 1999, sales were up for Gucci and they were worth $4.3 billion, thanks in large to Ford’s impactful style.
Now one of the most successful companies of that time, the Gucci group then bought Yves Saint Laurent and hired Ford to also head its creative department. He designed the seasonal collections for the label’s ready-to-wear line while its founder, Yves Saint Laurent, still took charge of the haute couture line. Ford has often alluded that Saint Laurent was never in favor of him and that there was countless opposition from the couturier regarding many of Ford’s creative decisions. During this time, as Ford headed both labels’ design teams, he also helped the Gucci group acquire other brands like Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta and Sergio Rossi.
21st Century Tom Ford
In 2004, Ford exited both brands when conflicts regarding creative control rose between him and holding company Pinault-Printemps-Redoute, who at that time had acquired a considerable stake of the Gucci label. He then started his own brand of eyewear in 2005 after a successful partnership with Estee Lauder, when he released cosmetics and fragrance lines under his name. He then collaborated with Ermenegildo Zegna in 2006 to create his own menswear line, resulting in his first ever flagship store in New York City. By 2007, his line had become so successful that he opened up stores in Los Angeles, London, and Milan as well.
Around the same time, Ford also ventured into film directing, setting up his production company “FADE TO BLACK” and creating films that featured his designs. He received critical acclaim for one of his first films, “A Single Man” starring Colin Firth, who was up for many awards during the 2010 awards season and even won the BAFTA award for Best Actor in a Leading Role.
He returned to womenswear in 2010 with an exclusive fashion show in his flagship store in New York. Stars and clients such as Beyonce Knowles, Lauren Hutton and Daphne Guinness became his muses on the catwalk, and his comeback collection received universal acclaim. He then went on to present his subsequent womenswear collections in London, New York and LA Fashion weeks, becoming a particular highlight in the fashion calendar
He also dressed celebrities on the red carpet again, further etching his place back on mainstream fashion. He famously dressed Gwyneth Paltrow in an asymmetric white column gown with a cape for the Academy Awards in 2012 and Julianne Moore in a draped black-and-white evening dress for the Golden Globes in 2013. Benedict Cumberbatch famously wore a Tom Ford tailcoat suit for the 2014 Met Gala as well. He also designed the costumes for his second directorial feature film, Nocturnal Animals, that starred Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Isla Fisher.