Words: Emily Venables
When it comes to extraordinary people, there’s not many who fit the mould quite like Tom Ford. Whether it’s turning fashion lines into multi-billion-dollar companies, directing award-winning films or creating out of this world fragrances Tom Ford is the man. As part of our ‘Behind the scents’ series, we’re taking a closer look at how Ford become one of the most prominent fashion designers of the 21st century.
Ford’s earlier years…
Thomas Carlyle, or Tom Ford as he’s known now to you and me, was born in Austin, Texas in 1961. After graduating from high school Ford headed for The Big Apple to study the history of art at NYU. Needless to say, he didn’t continue on this particular path!
Ford went on to study architecture at Parsons the New School for Design and in his final year, he spent a year in Paris. It was here that Ford discovered his passion for fashion while interning at Chloe’s press office and after graduating from university, he spent several years at Cathy Hardwick and Perry Ellis, but it would be what he did next that would change his life forever.
Becoming bored of American style, he set off for Milan where we became chief women’s ready-to-wear designer for a brand on the brink of bankruptcy. That brand was none other than Gucci.
Ford remained with the Gucci group until 2004, turning it from an undesirable, failing brand to a multi-billion dollar fashion powerhouse. During his tenure at the group, he not only turned around the fate of Gucci, but he took on YSL at the same time!
Ford left the Gucci group in 2004, when it was estimated to be worth a staggering $10 billion!
Tom Ford Fashion House
All eyes were on Ford when he stepped down from the Gucci group and luckily for both fashion and fragrance fans, we didn’t have to wait long for his next move – in 2005 he founded the luxurious fashion house Tom Ford.
Ford went on to form a partnership with Estee Lauder and what followed was a line of remarkable fragrances which would continue to propel Ford’s meteoric career.
Tom Ford fragrances
2006 was a special year for the scent world, as we were introduced to Ford’s first fragrance - Black Orchid; a scent that was originally marketed at women but gained popularity with men too. Ford’s first foray into the world of fragrances was an immediate success and it went onto win and armful of awards!
A little over a decade later, Ford has more than 40 distinctive, predominantly unisex, fragrances to his name which fall into two main categories in an effort to appeal to both luxury and casual fragrance wearers: his Signature Collection and his Private Blend.
Tom Ford’s Signature Collection
Appealing to the wider audience, Ford’s signature collection features some of his best-selling creations. Including the like of Grey Vetiver and Black Orchid which are perfectly polished and would give their higher price point counterparts a run for their money in terms of integrity and complexity.
Tom Ford’s Private Blend
Described by Ford as his “very own personal scent laboratory”, the Private Blend offer an edgier, more thought-provoking collection of fragrances; perfectly suited to the luxury perfume connoisseur. Each fragrance starts with just a single note from a precious ingredient such as amber, tobacco, leather or gardenia. It has to be smelled to be believed but believe us when we say you’ll never smell anything like this collection elsewhere!
Tom Ford is without a doubt a remarkable man we hope you’d agree! And we’ll leave you with his wise words…
“I think fragrance might be more important than clothes.”