In April 2005, exactly one year after his dramatic departure form Gucci Group, Ford announced the creation of the TOM FORD brand. Ford was joined in this venture by former Gucci Group President and Chief Executive Officer Domenico De Sole who swerves as Chairman of the company. As President and CEO of TOM FORD INTERNATIONAL, Ford announced his partnership with Marcolin Group, a global laeader in the eyewear industry, to produce and distribute optical frames and sunglasses under the TOM FORD brand. The same day Ford and De Sole announced an alliance with Estee Lauder to create the TOM FORD beauty brand. The collaboration was a two phase, multi year deal. Phase one of his collaboration launched in November 2005 with the highly successful Tom Ford Estee Lauder collection. In phase two, Tom Ford and Estee Lauder created and marketed a stand-alone fragrance and beauty collection under the Tom Ford Beauty label that launched in November 2006 with a signature fragrance called TOM FORD BLACH ORCHID and was followed by TOM FORD BLACK ORCHID VOILE DE FLEUR. His first signature fragrance for men called TOM FORD FOR MEN launched in September 2007.
In February 2006, Tom Ford announced a licensing agreement with Ermenegildo Zegna Group for the production and worldwide distribution of lusury men’s ready-to-wear and made-to-measure clothing, footwear andaccessories under the “Tom Ford” label. In April 2007, his first directly owned flagship store opened in New York at 845 Madison Avenue to coincide with the much anticipated debut of the signature Tom Ford menswear and accessory collection.
In June 2007, Tom Ford International announced a targeted global expansion starting in four directly operated stores that are slated to open over the next three years in Milan, London, Los Angeles, and Hawaii. In addition, Tom Ford announced agreements with key franchise partners that will allow for a focused and select expansion schedule beginning Spring 2008 for key cities in Europe, South America, Asia, and the Middle east. Tom Ford also announced the exclusive limited distribution of the Tom Ford Menswear collection in select luxury retail partners in the US and Europe beginning in spring 2008. The resulting overall plan will create more than 100 free standing Tom Ford retail stores worldwide over the next 10 years as well as a tightly controlled distribution network of shop in shops with luxury retailer partners.
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