Tom Ford – Designer, Cosmetic Guru & Icon

In designer terms there are very few names either as an individual or as a brand that have the same power as Tom Ford.  His complex and savvy approach to the Business of fashion is unmatched by any other company and has rapidly become a part of the cultural lexicon.

Hailing from Austin Texas and trained at the prestigious Parsons School of design at both the New York campus and Paris, he has travelled the world working with some of the biggest names in couture where his eye for fabrics, scent and the myriad of elements that go into the creation of a storied collection, giving him a unique perspective on the design world with the sort of diversity of talent that is rare in any business.

Building on a reputation for excellence and to some degree control, the Tom Ford brand is the culmination of decades of experience, business savvy and the unwavering belief in his own talents as supported by the clientele, designers and current line of clothing, perfume, cosmetics and accessories bearing his moniker.

With a slew of awards from the prestigious fashion council of America and Vogue to name but a few, the concept and identity of Tom Ford has created and moulded the ideal of his customer and allowed people to buy into the brand giving them a piece of the man from the off the rack to custom there is a very tribalistic sense of who is a part of the identity of the Tom Ford man or woman.

Instrumental in creation from the top down he is a creative director who orchestrates and controls every element of his brand and gives it not only its name but its aesthetic of sexuality, sensuality and simplicity.

The label is a benchmark in effect a display of exquisite tailoring and beautifully choreographed makeup for men and women.  It is noteworthy that he stays within the bounds of the masculine with his men’s range and accentuates the feminine without falling into stereotypes and clichés a neat trick and one he carries with a sense of grace and fluid dignity that is atypical of the man himself. 

In his cosmetics line we see the attention to detail and sheer Ford savvy that has become the new benchmark of premium cosmetics.  The women’s collection as one would expect, covers all the key elements from foundation and contour to the lips and shadow but it is the packaging that makes it standout. 

The warm chocolate brown casing with golden accents and the ubiquitous TF logo standing tall, with the occasional shock of silver or solid white, speaks volumes and becomes an accessory of its own, the subliminal affect of the brand showing not only are you privy to the industry but you are everything that the brand proports to be: decadent practicality, alluring without being overstated, sexually flirtatious in an untouchable way.  It speaks softly but carries a big stick with a knowing Freudian wink. 

For men this theme carries over and gives a clear sense of the man who buys into the brand, practical and designed to offer a more polished gent feel there is still at its heart a seduction of the senses that is his stock and trade.  Two distinct colour palettes come into play with a sense of the complimentary within the contrast, deep woody tones and the more regal duck egg blue sit by side and in much the same way as the makeup collection, speak of luxury with a touch of the sultry. 

With scent ranges that fall into the smoky, wood and spices, there is a definite masculine edge that does include cosmetics such as concealer and bronzer, still has that edge of polish that makes you think masculinity and solidity a very tricky line to meet with any skill but again, in true Tom Ford style it works and becomes a part of being a Tom Ford man. 

With an overall feel of the indulgent there is a much wider and more secretive sense of the Tom Ford customer that speaks of being subtle, sexy and in control of your own identity and showcasing this through choices that are a signal to the world of your own comfortable place at the table, a sly wink to your own private thoughts and actions that can only be described as the Tom Ford affect. 

To learn more about the range or to purchase see:

*Image courtesy of the Tom Ford website. 

By James Clark