American fashion designer who studied interior design at the New Parsons School, then worked for designer Cynthia Hardwick and later Perry Ellis. Gucci brought Ford on as a designer in the early 1990s and he eventually became Creative Director; after Gucci bought Yves Saint Laurent, Ford took over the direction of that line as well. His designs, which "turned louche sexuality into high fashion",1 are widely credited with revitalizing both lines (Gucci was said to be nearly bankrupt before Ford joined the house). In the process, he became one of the most influential designers of the time. He stepped down in 2004 after a contract dispute.
He has since launched his own beauty and fashion houses and directed a movie, A Single Man.
Collaboration with Estee Lauder
In 2005, Estee Lauder announced that Tom Ford had signed on to create new products under the Estee Lauder brand name (see Youth Dew Amber Nude, 2005 and Azuree Soleil, 2006 & 2007), and then to launch his own Tom Ford beauty brand under the Estee Lauder umbrella in late 2006.
Tom Ford Black Orchid (2006) was the first fragrance under the Tom Ford label.
Recent releases from Tom Ford Signature
Mainstream releases after Black Orchid include Tom Ford Black Orchid Voile de Fleur (2007), Tom Ford For Men (2007), Tom Ford For Men Extreme (2007), White Patchouli (2008), Grey Vetiver (2009), Violet Blonde (2011), Tom Ford Noir (2012), Sahara Noir (2013), Velvet Orchid (2014).
Tom Ford Private Blend
Later additions include Champaca Absolute (2008), Italian Cypress (2009), Bois Marocain (2009), Arabian Wood (2009), Azure Lime (2010), Lavender Palm (2011), Jasmin Rouge & Santal Blush (2011), Private Blend London (2013), Tobacco Oud & Oud Fleur (2013), Mandarino di Amalfi & Costa Azzurra (2014).
In 2009, Tom Ford launched the Private Blend White Musk collection with four fragrances: Urban Musk, Jasmine Musk, White Suede & Musk Pure. In 2012, he launched Private Blend Jardin Noir, again with four fragrances: Café Rose, Ombre de Hyacinth, Lys Fume and Jonquille de Nuit. In 2013, the Atelier d’Orient collection included Shanghai Lily, Plum Japonais, Fleur de Chine and Rive d’Ambre.
Where to buy
At selected department stores, including Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, Nordstrom and Saks, or at Tom Ford boutiques.
See all articles on Now Smell This tagged Tom Ford.
Read Tom Ford: a single man and his address book at The Guardian (about his directorial debut).
1. From Tom Ford (Times Topics) at the New York Times.