MFW: Peter Hawkings’ First Show At Tom Ford Was A Fabulous Note In Consistency
For his debut show, the new creative director of Tom Ford, Hawkings, uprooted the runway to Milan
Replacing Tom Ford at Tom Ford is no simple feat. But when the revered creative director bid farewell to his eponymous brand following its USD $2.8 billion sale to Estée Lauder in April, the shoo-in to take the mantle would surely be the person who has spent the last 25 years working alongside Tom Ford (the man)—first at Gucci and then at Tom Ford (the brand). Enter, Peter Hawkings.
“In Peter Hawkings the brand has found the perfect Creative Director,” Ford said in a statement in April. “Since the creation of Tom Ford menswear, Peter has been instrumental in the success of the brand. He is an incredibly talented leader with tremendous industry experience, and his appointment gives me confidence that my commitment to creating fashion products with the highest level of design and quality will continue.”
The extra flashy passing of the baton moment happened on September 21 in Milan, a fitting city for a house who has always shown in New York (Ford is from Texas, after all) and, under new leadership, is looking to position itself as the global luxury label it has proven itself to be. A fresh start in a new city.
Hawkings, a Central Saint Martins graduate, remained consistent to the cause in Milan overnight, in a way that will likely be different from Sabato De Sarno’s first collection over at Gucci tomorrow post Alessandro Michele’s shock departure last year. In Hawkings’ Tom Ford world, everyone is glamorous, sexy and elegant—and when we say everyone, we mean men and women. Prior to Ford leaving, he was looking after womenswear in Los Angeles and Hawkings was overseeing menswear in London. But on the SS24 runway, they were together. Suits in midnight velvet, white leather and chocolate brown, were unisex and in unison. Shirts were opens. Belt buckles were matching. Some female models sauntered down the catwalk in tiny shorts— the star of this SS24 season—others in ruffled button-downs with leather skirts, slinky evening gowns, or tasselled minis fit for the Milanese night.
Ford and his chairman, Domenico De Sole, will be staying on as advisors until the end of 2023, helping to shepherd Hawkings through this first collection, before Ford looks to continue his career in film. While it may have seemed like a case of “It’s Tom Ford’s world, and Hawkings is just playing in it”, Hawkings kept what we love about Tom Ford consistent, and if anything, by his own admission, brought he quality of the menswear to the womenswear. A decision we can get behind.