Who is Tom Ford?

Who is Tom Ford? Read on to find the answers to all your questions about the celebrated American designer, including: how old is Tom Ford, is Tom Ford married, and: is Tom Ford cruelty-free?

Credited with reviving Gucci in the 1990s, saving it from bankruptcy and transforming it into a cult label, Tom Ford is easily one of the most influential designers of the 21st century. 

His style is unmistakable—timeless elegance with a glamorous and exuberant edge, luxurious fabrics, and impeccable tailoring.

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Who is Tom Ford?

Tom Ford (age 60 years) was born in 1961 in Austin, Texas. He grew up between Texas and New Mexico, before moving to New York to pursue a degree in art history at New York University. He then went on to study architecture at Parson’s School of Design, but switched to fashion in his final year of school.

After graduating, Ford started working as a freelance fashion designer. He worked for Cathy Hardwick and Perry Ellis, under the creative direction of Marc Jacobs.

In 1994, Ford was appointed creative director of Gucci. At the time, after years of family feuds and financial trouble, the Italian fashion house was over-licensed and on the edge of bankruptcy.

By the first six months of 1995, the company’s revenues increased by 87 percent. So Gucci’s golden era began. Ford reinvented the label, creating a global powerhouse–today Gucci is valued at $15 billion.

Read more about Gucci.

who is tom ford

During his time at Gucci, Ford was also appointed creative director of Yves Saint Laurent. He worked his magic on the French label, too, catapulting it back into the fashion spotlight.

Ford left the Gucci Group in 2004, to found his own label. Today Ford’s eponymous fashion brand encompasses menswear, womenswear, accessories, and beauty products.

Tom Ford Size Chart

Tom Ford Size Chart

Is Tom Ford married?

Tom Ford was married to Richard Buckley for seven years. He is gay.

The two met in the 1980s, when Ford was working for Cathy Hardwick–Buckley was then the editor of Women’s Wear Daily. “Our eyes locked and within a month we were living together,” Ford said. They dated for 28 years before finally getting married in 2014.


is tom ford married

In 2012 Ford and Buckley had a son, Jack, born via surrogacy. Designer Stella McCartney was chosen as the boy’s godmother.  


Sadly, Richard Buckley passed away in 2021, aged 72, after a long illness.

Tom Ford’s iconic designs

The designer’s final collection for Yves Saint Laurent has made history as one of the designer’s best collections, the show as one of the best of all times. The pagoda shoulder, the vivid colors of Chinese lacquer, the fur accents… Ford’s 2004 YSL Chinoiserie collection established him as one of fashion’s greatest designers.

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Over the years, Tom Ford has dressed an array of celebrities—from Madonna to Tom Hanks, from Daniel Craig to Beyoncé. A special mention goes to the ivory evening gown Ford designed for Michelle Obama in 2011, for a visit to Buckingham Palace. A truly iconic design!

The SS22 collection is everything but minimalist—expect lots of sparkle, neon sequins, satin, gilt chains. We love this silver sequin shirt, and these sequin pants. It’s a “hopeful collection […] at a moment when we all need hope,” Ford said.


Is Tom Ford cruelty-free?

While the label can’t be fully considered cruelty-free, the label chooses not to test on animals unless a regulatory body demands it for safety reasons.

is tom ford cruelty free

Moreover, the designer himself went vegan a few years ago, after watching the documentary “What The Health”, and is taking steps to limit the use of animal products in his collections.

“I employ food by-products,” Ford stated, “although the term does not sound sexy, and I do not take materials coming from animals that have been bred only for their fur”.

Discover our wide selection of Tom Ford clothing and accessories for women and Tom Ford clothing and accessories for men—and save up to 40%* off local retail!

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About the Author

Alex English is the Head of Content Marketing at italist.com, building on a lifelong passion for fashion and luxury. After publishing a lifestyle blog for nearly ten years and obtaining an MBA in Milan at SDA Bocconi, one of Europe’s top business schools, he joined the italist team in 2019. His work since then has focused on upper-funnel messaging, brand storytelling, establishing italist as a thought leader in the space, and enriching the customer experience on the platform. Find him on LinkedIn.