Tom Ford, luxury fashion designer and filmmaker, celebrates his 60th birthday today. His monumental career is hard to summarise – spanning over three decades, it’s taken Ford himself two books (the latter of which will be released in November) and over eight hundred pages to chronicle his work, which is equally as memorable as it is provocative.
The perennially polished fashion icon is responsible for single-handedly bringing sexy back to Gucci and Saint Laurent in the mid- to late-90’s, with a series of sophisticated collections and erotic campaigns. Scantily clad dresses and sophisticated craftsmanship have become synonymous with the designer, and his vintage pieces are treasured by celebrities to this day.
Following his departure from Gucci in the early 2000s, Ford forged his own path with the launch of his eponymous label in 2005. Currently serving as the chairman of the CFDA, Ford embodies the American dream. A risk-taker and a rebel with numerous accolades under his belt, he has cemented himself as a powerhouse in contemporary fashion.
His most notable works include collaborations with creatives and lifelong friends like designer Stella McCartney, photographer Mario Testino and French fashion editor Carine Roitfeld. His fan base doesn’t stop there, with everyone from Kate Moss to Zendaya sporting Ford’s legendary pieces.
With his signature sex appeal and risquè designs, we’ve rounded up seven of our favourite iconic moments in celebration of Tom Ford’s 60 years of style and sensuality. Here’s to many more fabulous years.
Ménage à trois à la Tom Ford
This 1997 advertisement aimed to showcase Gucci’s Fall/Winter 1997 collection. In reality, observers were treated to a carnal display of the decade’s hottest models; Carolyn Murphy, Angela Lindvall and Gavin Matthews. This picture broke the internet before the internet was even a thing.
Kim Kardashian West’s 24-year-old lingerie
KKW took to Instagram showcasing her Tom Ford era Gucci thong that’s the same age as younger half sister Kylie Jenner. This piece was the highlight of Ford’s 1997 Spring/Summer show.
Bella Hadid’s Crystal Embellished Gown
Bella Hadid sauntered down the runway at Ford’s 2020 Autumn/Winter presentation in a revealing sultry number that’s been living rent free in our minds ever since.
The most controversial campaign of all time
This NSFW image, lensed by Mario Testino, left nothing to the imagination. Starring Carmen Kass, this iconic campaign received major backlash at the time, with calls for the ad to be banned. Ford ultimately triumphed. After all, sex sells.
2020’s IT piece
Spotted on the runway of Ford’s 2020 Spring/Summer collection, this metallic fuchsia ‘bra’ quickly became the hottest fashion item of the season, with long-time fan Gwenyth Paltrow and Zendaya both donning the Lacquered Chromed Acrylic Anatomical Bra. Remember that velvet suit moment?
Marking her Met Gala debut, Gemma Chan stepped out in a chainmail gown and cape, influenced by Ford’s closing look in his 2019 Autumn/Winter collection. It was arguably one of the best looks of the evening and one of Ford’s best looks to date.
The landmark collection that started it all
The pivotal 1995 Autumn/Winter collection was Ford’s second collection with Gucci. Characterised by an array of velvet trousers and silky blouses, Ford’s designs were colour blocking at it’s finest. Following on from the success of his runway show, Ford immortalized his smash hit in this iconic campaign featuring muse Amber Valletta.