GLBT History Month Spotlight - Tom Ford
Born August 27, 1961
Devastatingly handsome and ridiculously talented, Tom Ford is a force to be reckoned with. The well known fashion designer moved into a new genre of creativity - films, just two years ago, writing, producing and directing the critically acclaimed movie "A Single Man."
Born in Austin, Texas, Ford grew up in Santa Fe, New Mexico. At 17, he moved to New York City to study art history at New York University, but was drawn to fashion and design. He graduated with a degree in architecture from what is now Parsons The New School for Design.
He began his fashion career interning for Chloe in Paris, moved on to working for American designer Cathy Hardwick, then went on to Perry Ellis. In 1990, Ford moved to Milan where he served as Gucci’s head women’s designer. From here, his career really skyrocketed- in a mere two years, he was named design director of Gucci and two years later he became the creative director of Gucci’s Italian label.
In 2000, Ford served as creative director for Gucci’s sister label, Yves Saint Laurent’s YSL Rive Gauche and YSL Beaute. He left both brands altogether when, in 2005, he started his own brand - Tom Ford. Success continued to come quickly for the hardworking, creative designer, who opened his first flagship store in NYC just two years after his line started. More stores followed; there are now 21 stores worldwide.
His talent didn’t go unnoticed by his peers. Ford has won many awards, including five from the Council of Fashion Designers of America.
Conquering the fashion world was exciting for Ford, but his lifelong ambition was to make a film. He says, "I guess I’m just one of these people who, when I decide I’m going to do something, I just do it."
His film, "A Single Man," was an adaptation of Christopher Isherwood’s 1964 novel. The movie centers on a gay man’s mourning over his partner’s tragic death. The film premiered at the Venice Film Festival and was nominated for numerous awards, including a Best Actor Academy Award nomination for Colin Firth.
Ford lives with his partner of more than 20 years, journalist Richard Buckley, in their London, Santa Fe and Los Angeles homes.