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7 Major Moments from Tom Ford’s Iconic Career

Tom Ford

Tom Ford. Photo: Instagram/@tomford

A globally-renowned fashion mogul, and arguably known as one of the most influential creatives of the 21st century, American fashion designer Tom Ford turns 59 today, August 27.

Known for his eponymous label, Tom Ford is admired for his exceptional tailoring and design aesthetic. With a professional working life emphasized in fashion design, fragrances, and filmmaking, as well as being the creative director of two esteemed luxury fashion houses Gucci and YSL, Ford has left an everlasting impact in the creative world.

Scroll below for a timeline of seven key moments through Tom Ford’s lifetime.

1980 – 1985
Parson’s Graduate

Courtesy of Parsons

After dropping out of NYU, Ford enrolled at Parsons School of Design, with hopes of becoming an architect. However, at the last minute, he switched to fashion, and from there he would secure a starting PR position at Chloe.

Appointed Creative Director at Gucci

Gucci Fall 1996

Gucci Fall 1996. Photo: Vogue Runway

Appointed Creative Director of Gucci in 1994, when the brand was going through a particularly difficult phase, Ford earned the reputation of fashion’s greatest provocateur as sales continued to soar under his reign.

Creative Director of YSL

YSL Fall 2001

YSL Fall 2001. Photo: JB Villareal / Shoot Digital for

When Gucci acquired the fashion house, Yves Saint Laurent, in 1999, it named Tom Ford—then creative director of Gucci—as creative director. His time as director led to some of the most infamous and controversial campaigns and designs in history.

Launched Tom Ford label

Tom Ford

Courtesy of Tom Ford

After parting ways with Gucci, Ford launched his menswear, beauty, and accessories label – Tom Ford. The brand went on to reach great success and is notorious for it’s sleek, well-tailored men’s suits.

Black Orchid Launch

Tom Ford

Courtesy of Tom Ford

In addition to menswear, Tom Ford the label also specified in fragrance. Launched in 2006, Black Orchid is a unisex scent admired for its woody, blackcurrant, and effervescent notes.

Michelle Obama wears Tom Ford

Michelle Obama, Tom Ford

Photo: Getty

Prominent with noble individuals in the limelight, First Lady Michelle Obama, chose to wear a Tom Ford custom made gown while visiting the British Royal Family.

Nocturnal animals nominated at the Academy Awards

Nocturnal Animals

Nocturnal Animals. Courtesy

Succeeding the success of his first film A Single Man, Ford went on to direct Nocturnal Animals, starring acclaimed Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Shannon, and Army Hammer. Both films went on to be nominated for Academy Awards.

Read Next: Livia Firth in Conversation with Tom Ford on the Fast-Fashion Crisis

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