Self-made, fabulously successful fashion designer/film maker Tom Ford celebrates his 56th birthday today (born August 27, 1961 in Austin, TX). He grew up in Santa Fe, NM, but moved to NYC while in his late teens, ending up with a degree in architecture (!) from Parsons. Along the way he studied art history and fashion, taking breaks to act in television commercials, followed by a year and a half in Paris – with his eyes wide open.
Fast forward – following stints in major positions at iconic fashion houses such as Perry Ellis, Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent, he launched his own luxury brand in 2006, and sunglasses have never been the same. He designs for both men and women – clothing, shoes, bags, eyewear, fragrances, makeup – winning major awards while practicing his exacting craft. Responding to criticism that he objectified women, Ford stated he is an "equal opportunity objectifier" and is "just as happy to objectify men".
On the horizon was a whole other career as a film director, screenwriter and film producer. In 2009 he wrote, produced, financed and directed “A Single Man,” an adaptation of Christopher Isherwood’s 1964 novel. The film premiered at the Venice Film Festival and resulted in an Academy Award nomination for Colin Firth as Best Actor. “Nocturnal Animals” followed in 2016, winning the Grand Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival. This second film, written, co-produced and directed by Ford, is based on the Austin Wright novel, “Tony and Susan” (1993). Ford received Golden Globe nominations for Best Screenplay and Best Director.
Ford lives with his partner of more than 20 years, journalist Richard Buckley, with whom Ford shares homes in London, Los Angeles and Santa Fe. Last December the couple snagged the William Haines designed home of former socialite and philanthropist Betsy Bloomingdale, wife of the department store heir. The home is located in the exclusive Holmby Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles – with annual property taxes in the $350,000 range. Success comes with a price tag.