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FASHION | 37


Singlehandedly responsible for the reinvention of Gucci, transforming the brand into one of the world’s most successful fashion houses, Tom Ford has now become a super brand in his own right, with his eponymous label, an award-winning film and the launch of a womenswear collection last spring. BY FIONA FORMAN


M


r. Ford—he now prefers to be called Mr. Ford rather than Tom— has become the embodiment of his own brand, exuding power and sex appeal. Aged 50, his looks are


undoubtedly a product of his own perfectionism, with his flawlessly bronze complexion, designer stubble and crisp suits, completing his signature look. His love of fashion stemmed from his fascination of all things material as a child, coupled with his adoration of his grandmother whose life, according to Ford, was built around “shopping and dressing and making herself beautiful.” Born in Texas, Ford moved to New York at age 17


to study art history at New York University, where he was introduced by a classmate to the avant-garde artist Andy Warhol, and the renowned night spot Studio 54. Dropping out of his studies after just a year to indulge in a brief spell of acting, Tom then began studying architecture at Parsons The New School for Design in Greenwich Village, which boasts a number of impressive fashion alumni, including Alexander Wang, Marc Jacobs and Donna Karan. While studying at Parsons, Ford spent 18 months in Paris working as an intern in the Chloé press office, which reignited his love of fashion. He then spent his final year at Parsons studying fashion design, though he still graduated with a degree in architecture.


Mr. Ford talented The


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