Ford, Tom

(1962- )
   Born in Texas, Ford began his specialized education in acting and then studied interior design at Parsons School of Design in New York City. He became a recognized designer while he headed the design team for Perry Ellis under the direction of Marc Jacobs. In 1990, he was hired as creative director by Gucci. During his tenure at Gucci, Ford reinvented the business suit for women. Masculine pinstripes were softened with halter tops and high heels. The look conveyed a secure, competent woman. When the Gucci Group bought the Yves Saint Laurent ready-to wear brand in 2000, Ford became the creative head there, as well. He is credited with turning the failing Gucci company around with his keen sense of editing and focusing on his interpretation of the customer. He left Gucci in 2004 to pursue his own line of beauty products in partnership with Estee Lauder. In 2006, Ford signed a deal with the Italian fashion house Ermenegildo Zegna to produce a line of men's clothing, shoes, and accessories, all under the Ford name and sold initially at Ford's boutique in New York before going global. This venture of Ford's speaks to custom-made clothing for real people rather than runway drama.

Historical Dictionary of the Fashion Industry. .

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