Tom Ford’s New Direction: And…Action!

Having sold his fashion business, the designer turns to Hollywood
After superstar designer-filmmaker and all-around hyphenate Tom Ford sold his entire cosmetics and clothing business to Estee Lauder in late 2022 for a reported $2 billion-plus (Lauder already owned the company’s beauty division), all anyone could talk about was: Will the lipstick formulation change? And, of course, Ford’s next move.

It was always going to be a big one. Since he started designing at Gucci in the 1990’s, Ford has made no small moves. Having already written, produced, and directed two critically lauded films—A Single Man in 2009 and Nocturnal Animals in 2016—it seemed inevitable he’d head back to his filmmaking chair. His name has appeared on every “Wish They’d Make a New Film” list for the last seven years.

On Friday April 28, with almost no surprise to anyone, a press release went out stating: “Tom Ford, following the sale of the Tom Ford brand, will concentrate on film projects via his production company Fade to Black.” Ford is still represented by Bryan Lourd and Craig Gering at CAA and by Lisa Schiek, his longtime press rep in the fashion worlds of Gucci, YSL, and Tom Ford, who’s now an exec at Fade to Black.

Tom Ford and models at his last runway show

The same day Ford officially went Hollywood, Estee Lauder announced new personnel at the TF fashion brand.

Guillaume Jesel was named president and CEO, while Peter Hawkings was named creative director. Designer Hawkings may be a new name to fashion outsiders, but he’s worked alongside Ford for 25 years. His most recent title was senior VP of TF menswear; now, Hawkings will be responsible for the entire brand’s vision. Will we see him taking a bow on the Tom Ford runway for a possible spring 2024 collection this coming fall? Will the brand show on the New York runways or in L.A., as the Talented Mr. Ford was often wont to do?

In any event, we’ll probably be seeing a lot more of Tom Ford, movie producer, around his adopted hometown these days.

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