I am a MASSIVE fan of Tom Ford and today he has revealed his plans to make his label the world’s leading luxury fashion brand, overtaking the likes of Louis Vuitton, Gucci & Channel. Based on his history I have absolutely no doubt he will succeed.
For those of you who may not know Tom’s background, I’ll explain his history as briefly as I can which will hopefully illustrate my reasons for him succeeding.
Tom Ford was born in Texas in 1962, he studied interior architecture and had an internship at Chloe’s press office which gave him his first taste of fashion. Getting a job with designer Cathy Hardwick & having a social circle (at the trendy Studio 54 club) with designers such as Marc Jacobs it quickly launched Tom up the fashion ladder. But it was his work at Gucci that has given him his legendary status.
Within just 6 months of arriving at Gucci, Tom was designing the menswear and when Richard Lambertson left as design director in 1992, Tom took over. The company was on the brink of disaster and bankruptcy but in 1994, Ford was promoted to creative director and he completely transformed the brand creating a more glamorous, modern brand, taking inspiration from his Studio 54 days with velvet hip-hugging jeans, skinny satin shirts and metallic boots. He increased profits by an amazing 90% in the first year and by1999 had single-handedly made Gucci worth $4.3 billion (£2.2). In 2004 Gucci was later valued at $10 billion!
In 1995 Gucci went public and its shares were soon bought by luxury goods conglomerate LVMH, headed by Bernard Arnault (20%) and Pinault-Printemps-Redoute (PPR) by founder François Pinault (40%), leaving Tom at one point as the largest individual shareholder!
With this funding, Ford spearheaded the Gucci group acquiring Yves Saint Laurent (which he was creative director of), Rive Gauche, Bottega Veneta, Boucheron, Sergio Rossi, and, agreed to part-ownership with Stella McCartney, Alexander McQueen and Balenciaga.
Unfortunately, his disagreements with the PPR bosses over artistic control resulted in his departure of Gucci in 2004.
But his career didn’t stopped there. In 2005 he launched his own film production company Fade to Black, & in 2009 directed his first film ‘A Single Man’ staring Colin Firth & Julianne Moor.
He also launched his fashion empire Tom Ford.
This year, we were all awaiting Tom’s first catwalk show with bated breath since his time at Gucci 8yrs ago. Unfortunately it had mixed reviews. The collection was very busy (kind of glam rock/pop art) and not the classic Gucci/Ford style everyone was expecting. There were a lot of mixed prints, shimmer & bright colours which coupled with the extravagant venue at Lancaster House was possibly a little too much.
Whatever the reviews however, I’m sure this has made him more determined to build his empire and with striking good looks (shame he’s gay!) and the experience to boot, there is no doubt in my mind that Tom will overtake the world’s leading labels very soon.
I only wish I had the money to buy garments from his A/W 2013 collection as they are bound to become historic relics!