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), Noir Extreme (2015), Noir Pour Femme (2015), Orchid Soleil (2016), Velvet Orchid Lumière (2016).
Tom Ford Private Blend
Tom Ford Private Blend, a fragrance collection aimed at a luxury audience, launched in 2007 in limited distribution. The 12 fragrances in the initial release included Amber Absolute, Noir de Noir, Velvet Gardenia, Black Violet, Tobacco Vanille, Bois Rouge, Moss Breches, Neroli Portofino, Japan Noir, Purple Patchouli, Tuscan Leather and Oud Wood.
Later additions include:
2008: Champaca Absolute
2010: Azure Lime
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.