Tom Ford (born August 27, 1962) is an American fashion designer. He is well known within the fashion industry for his legendary turnaround of Gucci, one of the most influential fashion houses in the world.
Ford was born in Austin, Texas and grew up in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he graduated from Santa Fe Preparatory School in 1979. After graduating from the Parsons School of Design in 1986, initially having studied architecture, he took design jobs with Cathy Hardwick and Perry Ellis. In 1990, Gucci’s creative director Dawn Mello recruited him to design women’s ready-to-wear, and Ford later moved on to become the chief director for Gucci. Ford called French editor Carine Roitfeld and Peruvian photographer Mario Testino and asked them to help him revamp the old fashioned house. By 1999, Ford had helped propel Gucci into a fashion power worth over $4 billion. When Gucci acquired the house of Yves Saint-Laurent, Ford was named the creative director of that label as well.
In 2004, Ford stepped down or was asked to step down from both of his positions, amid rumors he wished to direct films.