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Designer Dynamo: Tom Ford

Designer Dynamo: Tom Ford
2009/11/06 Maya H.

Tom FordThere are not enough American designers who make it BIG and who continue to evolve their style while maintaining the foundation of style that propelled them to the top.  Tom Ford is an exception--a top notch designer extraordinaire!  Love Tom Ford for reviving the floundering Italian design label Gucci -- kisses!

  • Born in Austin, Texas on August 27, 1961 and raised in Santa Fe, NM (.... he definitely beat the odds!)
  • Tom started at NYC in art history and transferred to Parsons School of Design to focus on architecture
  • At some point, he was in twelve national advertising campaigns simultaneously...he's a real worker!
  • Point of propulsion: Ford called American designer Cathy Hardwick every day for a month in hopes of securing a job at her midprice sportswear company.  Eventually, she agreed to see him.  Hardwick later recalled the incident: "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 moved to Milan in 1990 to join Gucci as the company's Womenswear designer
  • He quickly ascended the ranks: 1992, Design Director; 1994, Creative Director of Gucci; 2000 (with the acquisition of YSL), Creative Director of Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche; 2002, Vice Chariman of the Gucci Group management board
  • Little known fact (but not hard to believe): Tom has garnered four CFDA awards (1996, 2001, 2002, 2004)
  • Milestone: sometime during his partying at Studio 54, he realized he was gay
  • Trademark style: minimalist, square, black