Saturday, October 25, 2008

Designer Spotlight: Tom Ford



Tom Ford is an American fashion designer. He gained international fame for his turnaround of the Gucci fashion house and the creation of the Tom Ford label. In 1994, Ford was promoted to creative director. In his first year at the helm, he was credited with putting the glamor back into fashion introducing Halston-style velvet hipsters, skinny satin shirts and car-finish metallic patent boots. In 1995, he brought in French stylist Carine Rotifeld and photographer Mario Testino to create a series of new, modern ad campaigns for the company. Between 1995 and 1996, sales at Gucci increased by 90%. By 1999, the house, which had been almost bankrupt when Ford joined, was valued at about $4.3 billion.

When Gucci acquired the house of Yves Saint-Laurent, Ford was named the creative director of that label as well. During his time as Creative Director for YSL, Ford won numerous Council of Fashion Designers of America Awards. Like his work at Gucci, Ford was able to catapult the classic fashion house back into the mainstream. His advertising campaigns for the YSL fragrances Opium (with a red-haired Sophie Dahl completely naked wearing only a necklace and stiletto heels in a sexually suggestive pose) and YSL-M7 (with martial arts champion Samuel de Cubber in complete full-frontal nudity) have been famous and provocative by pushing fragrance ads to a new level of creativity in artistic expression and commercial impact.


In April 2004, Ford parted company with the Gucci group after he and CEO Domenico de Sole, who is credited as Ford's partner in the success story that is Gucci, failed to agree with PPR bosses over creative control of the Group. Following his departure from Gucci (and YSL), Ford opened the fashion house, Tom Ford. Ford began with accessories; his line of eyewear was the first to become successful. The Tom Ford line now covers Menswear, Beauty, Eyewear, and both Men and Women's Accessories. In 2006, he also established a fragrance line called Tom Ford Beauty. In early 2006, Ford attracted media attention for appearing fully clothed on the cover of Vanity Fair alongside Keira Knightley and Scarlett Johansson, both nude.

Ford's first 'Tom Ford' flagship store opened on April 122007 on New York City's Madison Avenue. In Spring 2008, Ford opened his first boutique outside of the United States in Zurich,Switzerland located at Munsterhof 17. In September of 2008 Ford opened a boutique in TorontoOntarioCanada at the Harry Rosen store on Bloor street.

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