Tom Ford Net Worth $500 Million
When interviewing for jobs after graduation, Ford said that he had attended The New School‘s Parsons division, but concealed that he graduated in architecture and that his work at Chloé was a low-level public relations position. Despite his lack of experience in fashion, Ford called American designer Cathy Hardwick every day for a month in hopes of securing a job at her sportswear company. Hardwick eventually agreed to interview him. She later recalled the incident: “I had every intention of giving him no hope. I asked him who his favorite European designers were. He said, ‘Armani and Chanel.’ Months later I asked him why he said that, and he said, ‘Because you were wearing something Armani.’ Is it any wonder he got the job?” Ford worked as a design assistant for Hardwick for two years.
In 1988, Ford moved to Perry Ellis, where he knew both Robert McDonald, the company’s president, and Marc Jacobs, its designer, socially. He worked at the company for two years, but grew tired of working in American fashion. In a later interview with The New York Times, he commented, “If I was ever going to become a good designer, I had to leave America. My own culture was inhibiting me. Too much style in America is tacky. It’s looked down upon to be too stylish. Europeans, however, appreciate style.
In 1994, Ford was promoted to Creative Director of Gucci. In his first year at the helm, he introduced Halston-style velvet hipsters, skinny satin shirts and car-finish metallic patent boots. In 1995, he brought in French stylist Carine Roitfeld and photographer Mario Testino to create a series of new ad campaigns for the company. Between 1995 and 1996, sales at Gucci increased by 90%. At one point, Ford was the largest individual shareholder of Gucci stock and options. By 1999, the house, which had been almost bankrupt when Ford joined, was valued at more than $4 billion.