Tom Ford will be celebrating his 49th birthday today. He was born August 27, 1961 in Austin, Texas. His family moved quite a bit, then when he was a young teenager they settled in Santa Fe, where his grandmother had a ranch. (I am mildly curious where the ranch is because my parents also have a ranch in that area.) He left Santa Fe after high school to graduate in architecture at Parsons. One of his early jobs was a press office intern for Chloe, which cultivated an interest in fashion design. He knew that if he was going to be a good designer, he needed to go to leave America and to to Europe.
There is a story about him calling Cathy Hardwick every day for a month in hopes of landing a job. Eventually, she agreed to see him. Hardwick later recalled, “I had every intention of giving him no hope. I asked him who his favorite European designers were. He said, ‘Armani and Chanel.’ 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?” Tom worked as a design assistant for Hardwick for two years.
Tom is also instrumental in rescuing the Gucci label. When Tom joined Gucci in 1990 the company was nearly bankrupt, when he left in 2004, over artistic control disputes, the company was worth $10 billion. In March of 2010 he announced to WWD that he was going to start on a women’s wear line and started recruiting talent. Ford has apparently hired shoe designer Michael Lewis, ready to wear designer Caroline Tixier from Givenchy, and accessory designer Pablo Coppola from Alexander McQueen. Everyone has been watching and waiting to see if he will show anything this year.
Let’s look at some Tom Ford designs. These are under the Gucci label because currently he has only shown menswear, and it is difficult finding online outlets.
To celebrate I am going to wear black, carry my vintage Gucci purse and look through September’s runway schedules to see if he is listed.