People are buying into your dream...To create that world sucks the soul and personality out of a designer. The Gucci stores look like my house. My sofas are in all the Gucci stores all over the world. -- Tom Ford in Time
Maurizio Gucci wanted to fire Tom Ford in the early '90s because he thought the young designer was too trendy.
But Ford stuck around around and became Creative Director of Gucci in '94. His first collection was a tremendous commercial and critical success and managed to turn around the company with a huge jump in profits and hip following.
In 2000 Ford assumed the title of Creative Director of Yves Saint Laurent as well. He left the company to pursue other interests in the Spring of 2004.
Honors: Three CFDA awards, including Menswear and Womenswear Designer of the Year ('96), International Designer of the Year ('96), Womenswear ('99)
Education: Parsons School of Design
Started in the business: Started working on the creative staff of Cathy Hardwick in 1986; joined Gucci in '90.
Known for: Strong, sexy designs
What you might not know about him
- He was born in Texas, but raised in Santa Fe.
- He's a target for icon-bashing: Imitation of Christ's famous shirt says "Bring me the head of Tom Ford" Miuccia Prada's husband says "Tom Ford is not a real designer, he is just good at marketing. Hes not like Karl Lagerfeld, who wakes up in the morning and sketches a dress." (Vogue UK)
- Ford's reply to the snipes that he's too commercial: "Commercial? Commercial is a compliment. It means it looks great and people want it." (Time)
- The customer he designs for: Urban men and women
- Notable quote: On the 2001 Academy Awards: "I am sick of the stylists." Their prettifying efforts, he said, made the stars "look like they're doing a guest spot on 'Friends.' " -- LA Times
Just about everyone you can think of including Sting, Tom Hanks, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Lopez.
How you can get the look
- Gucci is about being confident and sexy. Sometimes, that's acheived by combining hard and soft, like sheer babydolls and leather with zippers. Mix soft materials and silhouettes with tougher, more structured pieces for the same effect.
- Go with the ultimate urban palette: black and white.
- The look is either long and lean -- fitted jackets, sleek tops, slim pants --or really short and tight.
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