American fashion designer, film director, screenwriter and film producer Tom Ford was the creative director at Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent. In 2006, Ford launched his own “Tom Ford” label. Ford directed the films A Single Man (2009) which was Oscar-nominated, and Nocturnal Animals (2016)
After leaving Gucci, Ford launched a line of menswear, beauty, eyewear, and accessories in 2006, named after himself, “Tom Ford”. Dominico De Sole became chairman of the Tom Ford label.
Ford has described “the Tom Ford customer” as international, cultured, well traveled, and possessing disposable income. For females, he added “strong women, … intelligent women who know their own style”.
Michelle Obama wore an ivory floor-length evening gown designed by Ford to Buckingham Palace in 2011.Ford has also dressed Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez, Gwyneth Paltrow, Anne Hathaway, Daniel Craig, Tom Hanks, Johnny Depp, Ryan Gosling, Will Smith, Julianne Moore, Hugh Jackman, Jon Hamm, and Henry Cavill. Ford designed Daniel Craig‘s suits for his last three James Bond films: Quantum of Solace, Skyfall, and Spectre.
In 2013, Tom Ford was mentioned in Justin Timberlake‘s song “Suit & Tie“, which was a collaboration with Jay Z. Ford created the suits, shirts, and accessories for the Grammy winning “Suit & Tie” music video.
He went on to dress Timberlake’s 20/20 Experience World Tour, designing over 600 pieces for the tour. The same year, Jay Z released a song titled “Tom Ford” with “Tom Ford” rapped numerous times within the song.Ford responded that he was flattered and “it means that one has really penetrated and made an impact on popular culture.”Following the song’s release, Tom Ford received a huge spike in online search engine queries. The song would go on to sell over a million copies and become certified platinum.
Career as a film director
A Single Man
In March 2005, Ford announced the launch of his film production company, Fade to Black. In 2009 he made his directorial debut with A Single Man, based on the novel of the same name by Christopher Isherwood. The drama stars Colin Firth as an LA-based, gay college professor, alongside Julianne Moore, Nicholas Hoult and Matthew Goode. The screenplay was adapted by Canadian David Scearce and Ford; Ford was also one of the producers.
A Single Man premiered on September 11, 2009 at the 66th Venice International Film Festival, where it was nominated for top award the Golden Lion. Colin Firth was awarded the Volpi Cup as Best Actor for his performance. He won a BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role, and was nominated for an Academy Award, Golden Globe, Independent Spirit Award and Screen Actors Guild Award.
Other nominations for the film included two further Golden Globe categories: Julianne Moore for Best Supporting Actress, and Abel Korzeniowski for Best Original Score. At the Independent Spirit Awards, the film was nominated for Best First Feature and Best First Screenplay. Ford and David Scearce, who had first adapted the book into a novel, also received a nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay at the Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards.
In 2015, Ford became attached to direct Nocturnal Animals, an adaptation of the Austin Wright novel Tony and Susan.[The film was released in 2016. Jake Gyllenhaal and Amy Adamsplayed the lead roles of Tony and Susan, and Michael Shannon, Armie Hammer, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, and Laura Linney co-starred.
The film received praise from critics, as well as winning the Grand Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival. The film has an approval rating of 72% on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 143 reviews, with an average rating of 7.1/10, and the site’s critical consensus reading: “Well-acted and lovely to look at, Nocturnal Animals further underscores writer-director Tom Ford’s distinctive visual and narrative skill.”
Awards and nominations
- 1995: International Award – Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA)
- 1997: People Magazine’s 50 Most Beautiful People
- 1999: Style Icon Award – Elle Style Awards UK
- 2000: Best International Designer – VH1/Vogue Awards
- 2000: Fashion Editors Club of Japan Award
- 2000: British GQ International Man of the Year Award
- 2000: Superstar Award – Fashion Group International
- 2001: Womenswear Designer of the Year – CFDA
- 2001: Best Fashion Designer – Time Magazine
- 2001: Designer of the Year – GQ USA
- 2002: Accessory Designer of the Year Award for Yves Saint-Laurent – CFDA
- 2003: Fashion Design Achievement Award – Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum’s National Design Awards
- 2004: Board of Directors Special Tribute – CFDA
- 2004: Rodeo Drive Walk of Style Award
- 2004: International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame
- 2005: André Leon Talley Lifetime Achievement Award – Savannah College of Art & Design
- 2006: Accessory Brand Launch – Accessories Council Excellence (ACE) Awards
- 2007: GLAAD Media Awards – Victor Russo Award
- 2007: DNR‘s Person of the Year
- 2008: Menswear Designer of the Year – CFDA
- 2009: Venice Film Festival – Golden Lion for A Single Man (nominee)
- 2009: Venice Film Festival – Queer Lion for A Single Man
- 2009: Critics Choice Awards – Best Adapted Screenplay for A Single Man (nominee)
- 2009: Independent Spirit Awards – Best First Screenplay for A Single Man (nominee)
- 2009: Independent Spirit Awards – Best First Feature for A Single Man (nominee)
- 2009: Honored as one of GQ USA’s Men of the Year
- 2009: GQ Germany Man of the Year
- 2010: GLAAD Media Awards – Outstanding Film Wide Release for A Single Man
- 2010: Menswear Designer of the Year – CFDA (nominee)
- 2012: All-TIME 100 Fashion Icons – Member
- 2013: Named one of the 50 best-dressed over 50s by The Guardian.
- 2014: Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award – CFDA
- 2015: Menswear Designer of the Year – CFDA
- 2015: Named in British GQ‘s 50 best-dressed men in Britain
- 2016: Venice Film Festival – Grand Jury Prize for Nocturnal Animals
- 2016: Satellite Auteur Award
“One of the most effective ways Ford showcases his designs is by dressing celebrities on the red carpet, with the world’s paparazzi and social media diffusing the images globally within seconds,” says Dan Rookwood, U.S. editor at luxury online retailer and destination Mr Porter. “The red carpet is his true catwalk; celebrities his models.”
“His designs make men look like men—with his signature strong shoulders, bold lapels, and trim waist,” notes celebrity stylist Ilaria Urbinati, who dressed her clients nominee Rami Malek and presenter Chris Evans for Sunday’s ceremony. “The result is a very masculine sort of elegance.”
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