(Courtesy of Harper's Bazaar March 2013 issue)
With the release of Jay Z’s latest album, Magna Carta…Holy Grail, earlier this month, some of us wonder why Tom Ford has a track named after him.
For those of us that are fashion and rap aficionados, we understand the lyrics and the tribute that was paid to Tom Ford. But for others, they might wonder why Jay Z did this on one of the most anticipated albums of the year. Here is a little peek into the world of Tom Ford.
Ford is an American designer best known for his sharp tailored men’s suits, which is why Jay Z felt compelled to pay an homage to him. Not only does his empire contain menswear, but everything from sunglasses to fragrances, cosmetics and skincare. After making his way from Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he grew up, to the fashion capitol of the world, New York City, Ford spent over a year in Paris where he developed his love for fashion.
After graduating with an architecture degree from The New School’s Parson, he started working in fashion houses like Perry Ellis, in which Marc Jacobs was one of the designers at the time. He stayed there for a couple years. He grew tired of American fashion and decided to expand his horizons and move to Milan with his long time partner and fashion journalist Richard Buckley. He said that if he ever wanted to be a great designer, he had to make the move to Europe.
When Ford joined Gucci in 1994, he was quickly promoted to creative director of the brand. After going through some branding and financial issues, Gucci was considered to be bankrupt in 1999 valued at $4.3 billion. By 2004 when Ford made his exit from the Gucci Group, it had grown to $10 billion. Therefore, Ford was credited to the revitalization of the brand and making it relevant in pop culture once again. Ford parted ways due to some creative differences.
After leaving Gucci, Ford launched his own brand of menswear, eyewear, accessories and beauty for all of us to enjoy in 2006. Now he is the go to designer for major celebrities like: Brad Pitt, Justin Timberlake and, of course, Jay Z, among many others that look to Ford when looking for a well made men’s suit. Even YouTube beauty gurus, such as Tanya Burr, look to him for his cosmetics to create looks on their channels.
Nonetheless Ford will be immortalized by his contributions in the fashion world but also in the music business. When asked about the track that was named after him on Magna Carta…Holy Grail, he stated that he was flattered by the mention.
Like many other fashion designers, Ford makes New York City and London his home along with his partner of 25 years, Buckley and their toddler, Alexander.
Until Next Time, Stay Gorgeous