MILAN, Feb 25, 2004/ FW/ — Wednesday night in Milan, Tom Ford received a standing ovation when he glided on the runway at the end of his last show for Gucci.
The designer who wore a double-breasted black suit, white shirt and white flower hugged his longtime companion Richard Buckley before leaving the stage followed by a mob of fans.
And while his party was still going on, the Texan designer left for Los Angeles where he will figuratively ‘hang his hat’ and start a new chapter in his life, while marking the end of an era in the fashion world.
Because Tom Ford is not just a designer, his bigger than life persona is what legends are made of.
He is an image-maker. Together with Domenico De Sole, they remade the Gucci brand and currently in the process of remaking the Yves Saint Laurent brand which they will never finish of course.
Tom Ford is a Madison Avenue dream come true. As what Harold Koda, curator of the Costume Institute at New York’s Metropolitan Museum said, “He (Tom Ford) had the pulse on the generation everyone is trying to court. It’s all about being attractive and seducing people. He understood – and he marketed it.”
That is Tom Ford’s magic – the ability to cross demographics from Gen Y to Gen X, to the Baby Boomers wherein he is also counted as one.
He is leaving the fashion world in his prime. Though it was by accident, a result of an impasse of negotiations between him and PPR, the parent company of Gucci, it is a good move.
Like a great athlete, or a beloved TV show such as “Sex & The City,” there is something positive about leaving while one is still on top of his game, in the good graces of an adoring public.
He will be sorely missed by the fashion world, and on a personal level, I will miss him greatly also.
And for FashionWindows, which is based in Dallas, it feels like a son is leaving the brood. There is also a lot of sadness seeing Texas best fashion export leave.
Yet in true Texas fashion, the publication also thinks of it as, for the Lone Star’s state favorite fashion son, it is time to move on and excited to see what lies ahead.
Photos by Giovanni Pucci
(Photos above: (1) Tom Ford takes his final bow for Gucci (2) Tom Ford hugs his long time companion Richard Buckley, Photos by Giovanni Pucci)