Tom Ford is currently known to anyone who enjoys the subject of fashion. This is a great brand that impresses with both models, colors and quality of workmanship. However, do brand lovers know the story of Tom Ford himself?

Tom Ford of the wild valley

Tom Ford – from cowboy to gentleman in a suit. This is how the story of this great designer can be described in a nutshell.

It all began in Austin, Texas, when Thomas Carlyle Ford was born in late August 61′. And no – he is not a descendant of Henry Ford – you know, the one from cars. Tom, for that’s what they called him, showed uncommon artistic skills from birth. Just which way should one go? Here’s the question. He spent his early childhood in Texas, and later the whole family moved to New Mexico, where he completed high school. However, Tom is a man with big plans and dreams wanting to enter the big world, and where would he find a better opportunity to grow than in New York? That’s why, at the age of 17, he moved to the city that never sleeps, the so-called Big Apple, to begin his adventure to the top. His artistic soul was able to free itself at New York University (NYU) while studying art history. He did not stay there long! Without completing one study, he started another, also with an artistic bent – it fell on architecture, but he graduated with a degree in design from New York’s Parsons School of Design.

You ask, what about the fashion? This love affair was born during college and may have developed during a year and a half internship in Paris at the press house of the Chloe brand. This is a very important period in the development of the young visionary, because he was able to get to know the inspiring world of big fashion from the inside out.   

Studio 54

New York is a peculiar city. They even say that Fun City itself defines the way of life and requires residents to fit in. Tom Ford did not have to be persuaded for long – he pasted into the philosophy of the place immediately. He was seen in fashionable places – one of them – which undoubtedly had a huge impact on the designer’s personal life – was Studio 54. It was there that our hero, realized that women were not his point of interest – he was more turned on by men. In the 1980s. The Studio 54 club was a place for only a select few. Before entering, there was a selection by list, which included names such as Dustin Hoffman, Calvin Klein, Al Pacino or Jack Nicholson and, of course, Tom Ford. He got off to a good start, meeting many notable people in the fashion world and beyond. It was then, while studying architecture, that he found that fashion was his calling. At the time, he promised himself that he would become one of the biggest fashion designers. Well, he didn’t have to wait long!

Tom Ford - from cowboy to gentleman in a suit

In life you have to work hard for success, but luck also comes in handy. Undoubtedly, the latter favored the 30-year-old New York cowboy, for in the mid-1980s. began working alongside designer Cathy Hardwick, which he saw as a good start in the fashion world. Tom had no idea about the art of tailoring, but he learned to sew at a local department store. It quickly became apparent that he also had an outstanding talent for paying attention to details not seen by others. He was doing well, he was developing, however, at the end of the 1980s. He was tired of the United States, which, in his mind, matched neither culture nor style with European standards. Saturated with glamour and the disco era, Tom decided to set out to conquer Europe, and his finish line was a job at fashion house Gucci, which was just rolling out a new collection and needed hands to work. Initially, he served as a designer of men’s clothing and footwear, but after just two years he became creative director of the designer department. At that time he was working 18h a day which undoubtedly worked out for him, because already in 1994 he was promoted to creative director of the Gucci brand and then everything changed 180 degrees! What’s more – it has changed, but for the better.

Tom Ford - from cowboy to gentleman in a suit

Tom has made many changes to the brand. He eschewed minimalism by introducing bold and sexy retro elements, sporty designs, and home décor into the collection. Gucci campaigns under Tom Ford were very controversial, but the designer trusted his instincts and was not afraid of drastic steps. Undoubtedly, his muse Carine Roitfeld played a big role in this regard.  When fashion house Gucci bought the powerful French brand Yves Saint Laurent in 1999, the brand’s founder openly criticized the designer’s actions, ironically saying, “The poor man is doing the best he can.” But Tom, through his persistence, made the YSL brand accessible to the proverbial “gray people” – that is, people outside the elite. What can we say – the numbers don’t lie, and thanks to our hero, the Gucci brand has increased its revenue by nearly $3 trillion.

Time to move on to your own

In 2004. Tom had a 14-year relationship with the Gucci brand, and its interest in the market grew by the day. However, potential customers were not involved, but also investors. For a long time Tom did not have to wait, because just in 2004.  Gucci was bought out by Pinault Printemps Redoute, and Ford resigned his position, followed by fashion house president Domenico De Sole. The designer knew he could do it, and the very next year after he left, he founded a brand signed with his name – that’s how the Tom Ford fashion house was created.   The origins of the brand were mainly men’s eyewear interspersed with men’s clothing, perfumes and accessories.  You’ll think – no news, but recall Tom from his youth and his remarkable ability to pay attention to detail. That’s why Tom Ford’s suits were distinguished by five buttons at the cuff instead of the standard four. Moreover, in his designs every man looked like a star, model or even James Bond. Nota bene, for whom he sewed the suits for the film, when Agent 007 was played by actor Daniel Craig. You can also see Tom’s designs in the series “In Suits” on lawyer Harvey Specter. It was only 6 years after the brand’s creation that Tom Ford designed a women’s clothing collection, which, after its premiere show at London Fashion Week, wowed everyone and was the essence of Tom’s style – bold, sexy and glamorous.   

Tom's movie face

Did you know that Tom Ford, in addition to his love of design, also loves the world of film? Well, when his fashion brand was achieving success, he decided to try something different. In 2009. made his directorial and screenwriting debut with the feature film “A Single Man,” starring acclaimed actor Colin Firth. The film is a kind of flashback to his memories, as the picture was based on a novel by Christopher Isherwood, whom he knew personally. What’s more, the film tells the story of a homosexual British university professor who left the Islands by moving to California. The film received 19 nominations for prestigious awards, of which it won seven. Six years later, it was reported that the designer was planning another film again based on the book, but this time Austin Wright’s Nocturnal Animals.   

Tom Ford - and everything turns to gold

Tom Ford has been called the child prodigy of fashion, and has won countless prestigious awards including five CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America) awards, four Vogue Fashion Awards, and the title of 2015 Designer of the Year by the CFDA. What’s more, it also won a film award at the Venice Film Festival.  Privately, Tom has been in a relationship for almost 30 years with journalist Richard Buckley, with whom he legalized the relationship in 2014. Together they are raising their adopted son Alexander John “Jack” Buckley Ford, who recently turned 6.   The designer loves fashion, but values perfume more than clothes, often saying: “Sometimes the smell is more important than the clothes.” He loves fashion, designing clothes, eyewear or accessories, but it is not a real art for him – it is too commercial in nature. Therefore, he began to write scripts and create films to fill the artistic gap in his life. Tom was born an artist and an artist he will remain, no matter which way he takes his next step.   

From Austin to Katowice

Reading Tom’s story and learning about the prestigious nature of the brand, his designs seem distant and inaccessible to the – already familiar to you – “gray men.” Nothing is wrong! Well, here’s the thing: in Katowice – the same Katowice that is famous for its mines and industrial landscape – on a street that everyone knows. Located on St. Mary’s Street is Studio 44 (not to be confused with Studio 54, which Tom went to in New York), an optical studio with top eyewear brands including Tom Ford. However, Optical Studio 44 is not only an optician, it is also an optometrist who selects lenses and glasses individually for the customer, and an ophthalmologist with years of experience who will remedy any condition. If you dream of high-end designs or are fascinated by the artistry of Tom Ford at Studio 44, you’re sure to find something for you! So what, are we off to do some shopping?    


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