Despite the fact that he doesn’t really care for interviews, the fashion world has for many years expressed its love for him and treated him as a guru. His frequently controversial statements are extensively and carefully discussed. Just like his directing success. As the critics say, one good movie by the best director of all fashion designers could have been just a coincidence, but two?
Supposedly, it was his mother who instilled in him the love for fashion and beautiful objects. He got his very first pair of Gucci shoes from her at the age of 12. She herself was a real lady; she used to spoil her son with expensive gifts and taught him to aim high. Now Tom Ford designs highest quality pricey clothes and admits that he would like to dress prince Harry or Barack Obama. He created his own empire – fashion, beauty products, perfumes as well as a very distinct style of juicy advertisements. Tom Ford is an acknowledged institution, and not a very polite one. He laughs that journalists coming to interview him expect naked Kate Moss lying on his desk. Meanwhile, they’re greeted by a modern-time gentleman in an impeccable suit or a snow-white shirt who never lowers the standards of elegance; when reaching out with his hand he always looks straight into the eyes of his speaker and is endearingly polite during interviews. He’s the best ambassador of the brand, and additionally an amazing businessman who is aware of how to manage it successfully and what products will be bestsellers on the market.
He studied art history in NYC, frequented the legendary Andy Warhol’s Studio 54 – in search for his own path that became clear in the 1990s. He achieved enormous success then, when he became the creative director of the declining Gucci Group fashion house, and later when he put the Yves Saint Laurent brand back on track. He created his own, clearly recognizable scandalous style. The woman dressed in his clothes draws all the attention. She’s bold, impeccably elegant and conscious of her power. She is wearing high heels, deep cleavages, and lush lipstick. His erotic photo sessions and advertising campaigns created at that time by photographer Mario Testino and stylist Carine Roitfeld have made history.
It was all Ford’s doing that YSL became a brand not only for the elites. He commercialized it e.g. through a sensational ad campaign for the Opium fragrance starring the naked Sophie Dahl. Despite the fact that brands under his guidance began to generate humongous revenues, Ford didn’t manage to reach an agreement with their owners and disappeared for a while. In 2006, he appeared on the cover of Vanity Fair wearing his own designs and accompanied by nude Scarlett Johansson and Keira Knightley. He made the world miss him, but he came back with his own brand that he was consistently introducing to the market, starting with eyewear, perfumes, beauty products, and finally clothes.