Legendary designer and director Tom Ford was born in Austin, Texas on August 27th, 1961 and from his earliest beginnings, was given free reign to explore his interests.
Later moving to New York City, Ford enrolled in an art history course at New York University. It was during his early years in New York that he discovered the influential Studio 54 nightclub and Andy Warhol’s Factory.
After leaving NYU to concentrate on modeling (at one point he had no fewer than 12 TV commercials running at the same time), Ford transferred to Parsons School of Design and studied interior architecture before finishing his schooling at Parsons in Paris.
In 1986, Ford quickly returned to New York where he began his professional training. After working with famed American designer Cathy Hardwick, Ford worked under designer Marc Jacobs at Perry Ellis before moving back to Europe to work for Gucci in 1990. His time under legendary designers like Hardwick and Jacobs helped to direct his career towards serious clothing design.
At Gucci, his creativity and unique style landed him the role of Gucci’s creative director in the mid-1990s. It was during this period that Ford took the then struggling company from the edges of fashion back to the center stage. By 1999, Gucci was reportedly worth $4.3 billion dollars.
As the company’s inspirational and dedicated creative director, Ford was everywhere. Ford was responsible for the design and conception of clothing, perfumes, watches, luggage as well as Gucci’s advertising campaigns. During this period the entire company had a distinct touch of Ford’s design and brand vision.
When Gucci purchased a controlling stake in Yves Saint Laurent, Ford was appointed the company’s communication and creative director. Even with this additional responsibility, Ford continued to design for Gucci. His ability to work on so many projects at once has gained him plenty of industry recognition.
Ford has won many awards throughout his career, including being named Designer of the Year by GQ and the CFDA Womenswear Designers of the Year award.
His new company, simply named “Tom Ford” was created in 2005. Look for Tom Ford boutiques in global fashion hotspots including Beverly Hills, London, Milan, Tokyo, Zurich, Dubai and Sydney as well as a flagship store on New York City’s Madison Avenue.
Like many successful designers, Ford’s appetite for conquering new challenges and learning new skills has allowed him to work comfortably in myriad mediums. He is known for utilizing a variety of design elements which he incorporates into his constantly expanding body of work.
Ford is also successful in design because he’s been credited with having the ability to predict mass-market tastes. That is, when he likes a design, it’s often something that a critical mass of people will also like.
A workaholic and perfectionist, Ford is said to only sleep a few hours a night. He is also known to keep Post-It notes bedside in the event that inspiration strikes during those few hours of sleep.
Having conquered the design world, Ford recently turned his creative energy to designing an entire world within the set of his first film, “A Single Man.” The film was critically lauded and starred future Academy Award winner Colin Firth as well as Academy Award nominee Julianne Moore.
Tom Ford has arguably become one of the most influential American designers of our time.