“I’m a believer in fate and in fulfilling your destiny. I’ve always had a kind of inner voice that I have learned to listen to,” said Tom Ford, who recently announced his retirement from fashion.
Born to realtors in Texas, USA, Ford’s illustrious career began by acting in commercials before a stint at Chloé’s office in Paris sparked his lifelong passion for fashion. In 1994, Ford commenced his legendary reign at Gucci. Championing slinky silhouettes and cleverly placed cut-outs on the house’s runways as well as dressing A-listers such as Madonna and Beyoncé, Ford firmly set himself a cut above the rest of his peers.
Ford went on to create a slew of high-octane couture at Yves Saint Laurent as well, after Gucci acquired the French maison in 1999. He then launched his eponymous label in 2006, where his muses were “intelligent women who know their own style”. There, the designer expanded his clientele to include prominent political figures such as former First Lady Michelle Obama whom he dressed in a floor-length ivory gown for a visit to Buckingham Palace.
In the span of three decades, Ford did it all, from transforming Gucci’s image to chairing brands worth billions, all while creating endless designs coveted by the masses. It’s safe to say that Ford has fulfilled his destiny as one of fashion’s most memorable trailblazers.
Below, 10 standout pieces designed by Tom Ford to get yourself before they sell out.
1. Gucci fall/winter 1996 red blazer, $1,822
Famously worn by Gwyneth Paltrow at the 1996 VMAs over a pale blue shirt, this blazer remains one of Tom Ford’s most memorable designs to date. Later in 2021, Alessandro Michele paid tribute to Ford’s design in Gucci’s Love Parade collection.
Named after the Kenyan coastal city, the Mombasa bag features a curved horn as its handle. The hobo-shaped carryall shot to fame after being spotted on celebrities and fashion editors in the 2000s.
3. Gucci fall/winter 1999 leather pants, $2,332
This well-documented pair of leather pants had been seen on the likes of Gisele Bünchen in the Allure August 1999 issue and model Audrey Marnay in the Vogue US August 1999 issue.
4. Gucci fall/winter 1996 belt, $1,536
In one of Ford’s most well-known shows at Gucci, supermodel Kate Moss sported the white iteration of this belt over a sheer, barely-there dress.
5. Gucci fall/winter 2003 dress, $938
This dress is the quintessential Tom Ford for Gucci design, starring ruched detailing and an asymmetric hem.
6. Yves Saint Laurent fall/winter 2004 boots, $1,642
Model Natalia Vodianova stormed Ford’s last runway for Yves Saint Laurent in these pink Chinoiserie embroidered boots which she wore tucked under a black fur-trimmed coat.
7. Yves Saint Laurent fall/winter 2004 dress, $2,371
Another standout design on Yves Saint Laurent’s fall/winter 2004 runway? This sheer brown dress with an all-over scale print, which was afterwards photographed on supermodel Gemma Ward for an advertisement campaign.
8. Gucci fall/winter 1999 top, $1,775
Bündchen sported this plunging knitted top from Gucci’s fall/winter 1999 line with the maison’s highly coveted psychedelic print pants on the cover of Vogue UK’s September 1999 issue.
9. Gucci fall/winter 1999 pants, $1,885
On the other hand, models wore similar top with these low-slung, bell-bottomed pants on Gucci’s fall/winter 1999 runway.
10. Yves Saint Laurent fall/winter 2003 dress, $3,007
Model Adina Fohlin channeled the ‘70s in a look from Yves Saint Laurent’s fall/winter 2003 runway for a Rive Gauche campaign. The silver silk dress was paired with a fur shrug, fishnet tights and red heels.