‘‘Fashion’s boldest, most audacious success story ever” is how Bridget Foley of Women’s Wear Daily described the meteoric rise of Tom Ford..
Tom Ford was born on August 27, 1961, in Austin, Texas. While studying architecture at the Paris campus of the Parsons School of Design, Ford decided to switch to fashion. He became Womenswear Designer for Gucci in 1990 and Creative Director in 1994. Under Ford’s direction, Gucci’s annual sales grew to $3 billion. Since resigning from Gucci in 2005, Ford has launched his own fashion brand and he also directed Colin Firth in the film The Single Man.
This could be his bio in a few words but its extremely difficult to summarize his contribution to fashion imagery and notion.With a purely American sense he brought sex and glamour back into fashion,totally transforming the House of Gucci into an ”it” brand.After all,Mr Ford was responsible for the design of all product lines, from clothing to perfumes, and for the Group’s corporate image, advertising campaigns and store design.In January 2000, he assumed the position of Creative Director of Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche and YSL Beauté. In addition to his existing duties at Gucci,And that’s a lot of work!Ford managed to establish great collaborations with the YSL creative team,maintaining the idea of elegance yet avant-garde image that defined the House of YSL first place. A rare combination of a creative mind yet ultra perceptive in terms of advertising and sales,Ford managed to raise sales from clothes to accessories in both Houses.A provocative mind,he had intentionally used ambiguous advertising campaigns or single images with a strong sexist character, according to the motto: ‘‘every publicity is good publicity”.Prove of his hard work and multitasking abilities is,as the writer Sarah Mower pointed out in Vogue, by the end of his tenure at Gucci in 2004 Ford was “designing fifteen men’s and women’s Gucci and YSL collections a year” as well as overseeing their advertising campaigns and filling the role of “corporate titan”, who had masterminded the purchases of YSL, Balenciaga, and Bottega Veneta, and forged partnerships with Alexander McQueen and Stella McCartney! Now,Ford has been designing menswear for his own line since 2007 along with women wear,make-up and perfume prosperous lines.
Tom Ford’s success in the fashion industry has been recognized by a number of awards including four awards from the prestigious Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) and five VH1/Vogue Awards. In March 2004, Tom Ford was honored for his contributions to the worlds of fashion and film with the Rodeo Drive Walk of Style award.
Tom Ford’s imagery pays tribute to the sensual lines of the seventies while at the same time bring back in fashion sex and luxury values,especially in expensive fabrics and clever designs.His advertisng aesthetics usual followed the same principles with a few of them being banned as ”too explicit”.
My view on the Tom Ford Menswear Campaign shot by Terry Richardson in 2011, is that was funny and not at all sexist.It actually showcased this very issue under the veil of explicit yet fun imagery.In a few words,i liked it!There you go,travelling into the mind of Tom Ford..