All Eyes On Tom Ford: How The Daring Designer Built His Fashion And Beauty Empire
Tom Ford Focus
Tom Ford has done it all: The dashing designer has helmed Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent, produced award-winning films, photographed landmark ad campaigns, launched an eponymous fashion house, and developed some of the hottest products in the beauty world.
The modern renaissance man continues his winning streak with another exciting debut: The Eyes of Tom Ford Collection. Devoted to the face’s most evocative feature, the new lineup features a selection of 30 richly pigmented, long-lasting Tom Ford Private Shadows in five versatile textures.
Video: Courtesy of Tom Ford
A nod to Ford’s experience as an architect, photographer and filmmaker, the ultra-layerable shadows run the gamut from light to dark, subtle to daring enabling the wearing to create her own signature look. Better yet, the featherlight, mirrored compacts fit easily in totes and clutches, making it easier than ever to transition from work to play.
The collection also includes a few more enticing eye products, including three types of mascara—such as the sultry Tom Ford Shutter Lash Mascara—alongside Tom Ford Eye Kohl Intense eyeliner in Tourmaline and White Smoke, and minimalist Tom Ford Eye Gloss. This non-sticky translucent layer brightens up the naked eye for a glossy, understated result.
In honour of the new beauty bounty, we’ve taken a look at the iconic designer’s astronomical rise from New York University dropout to King of Fashion.
"Eyes are the most effective way to create character... to reflect your personality and make a true statement with your look.” —Tom Ford
Born in Austin, Texas in 1961, Thomas Carlyle Ford was a creative kid since an early age. He went on to study art history at New York University in 1979, but dropped out after a year due to a few distractions (namely, the legendary Studio 54 nightclub).
After a stint as an actor in Los Angeles, Ford made his way back to school, this time studying architecture at Parsons School of Design in Paris. He actually graduated with a degree in architecture, having only switched to fashion in his last year following an internship at Chloé in Paris.
His first job out of Parsons led him to designer Cathy Hardwick, followed by a stint at Perry Ellis. But his big break came in 1990, when Ford landed a job as a womenswear designer at Gucci under then-creative director Dawn Mello. Four years later, Ford was running the show.
With the Gucci gig, Ford relocated to Milan and made his name with provocative ad campaigns and a refreshing new direction—picture 1970s-inspired sophisticated, glamorous cuts, asymmetrical lines and more than a little sex appeal.
With Ford’s creative energy, business boomed through the early 2000s. The designer later guided Gucci to acquire Yves Saint Laurent, where he also steered the ship as Creative Director. Following a change in leadership and ensuing creative differences, Ford departed from Gucci and tried his hand at filmmaking.
Success seems to follow Ford where he goes, so it’s no surprise that his film company Fade to Black also enjoys critical acclaim. Ford produced 2009’s A Single Man, starring Colin Firth, which earned a slew of Academy Award nominations. Of course, Ford is no stranger to awards, having collected dozens over the course of his career, including several VH-1/Vogue Fashion Awards, the André Leon Talley Lifetime Achievement Award, GQ Designer of the Year (2001), and numerous Council of Fashion Designers of America awards.
"I probably do have an obsessive personality, but striving for perfection has served me well." —Tom Ford
While producing his films, Ford was already plotting his next fashion conquest: an eponymous label. The serial creative captivated the fashion world in 2006 with his first men’s fashion and accessories collection (produced in partnership with Ermenegildo Zegna). By the end of 2007, the fashion designer had already opened his New York Flagship store at 845 Madison Avenue as well as several international outlets.
For his next creative pursuit, Ford tackled womenswear in 2010 (though he kept it relatively exclusive until about 2013), followed closely by the launch of Tom Ford Beauty in 2011. Between fashion and beauty, the Tom Ford empire now boasts more than 100 stores nationwide, including five beauty counters in Hong Kong.
The Eyes of Tom Ford will be in stores from November 24, 2017: http://bit.ly/2zL2iuj