The high-profile former creative director of Gucci is now the creator of Tom Ford fragrances as well as a stratospherically expensive eponymous menswear line.
Ford landed his first fashion jobs in the late 1980s at Cathy Hardwick and Perry Ellis under Marc Jacobs. In 1990, Gucci's creative director Dawn Mello recruited Ford to move to Milan and design the company's womenswear line. Critics decried Gucci's slinky new look as "porno chic," but it was a major commercial success. In 2000, the Gucci group acquired Yves Saint Laurent and named Ford creative director. His work for the two labels paid off-while European consumers decried the fact that a gauche American had taken over YSL, Ford's designs caused the label's sales to jump 150 percent in his first year. But in 2004, he shocked the fashion world by leaving Gucci to pursue his own projects, launching accessories and fragrance lines, and debuting a duplex Madison Avenue flagship store for his eponymous menswear line. The following spring he was named menswear designer of the year by the CFDA. He has since branched into filmmaking with his directorial debut A Single Man in 2009.
Never one to shy away from the spotlight, Ford has always made himself the centerpiece of his brand, whether at Gucci or his own company. Despite marketing himself as a lothario, Ford claims to be monogamous with his partner of over 20 years, former Vogue Homme editor-in-chief Richard Buckley, who is 14 years his senior. [Image via Getty]