Menswear | November 14, 2021 2:49 pm

Tracing the Constant Evolution of Tom Ford

From fashion to filmmaking

Tom Ford
Tom Ford attends the 2021 CFDA Fashion Awards at The Grill & The Pool Restaurants on November 10, 2021 in New York City.
Sean Zanni/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

We live in an age with a steadily decreasing number of polymaths. It’s difficult enough to be skilled and learned in one particular art form or discipline; having multiple high-level talents is even more of a challenge. Yet the career of Tom Ford has demonstrated how seemingly disparate areas of focus can converge in one person’s life. Ford made his name as a fashion designer, but has branched out into more and more areas over the years — everything from a line of watches to directing acclaimed films.

This month brings with it the publication of Tom Ford 002, a new book documenting his work since 2005. Air Mail recently published the book’s introduction, which was written by Graydon Carter — who did the same for Ford’s first book — and offers an inside look into what it’s like to spend time with Tom Ford.

Carter covers a lot of ground here. Regarding Ford’s launch of the fashion brand Tom Ford, Carter observed, “I’m not sure whether [Ford] would call this a second act or a third act. Either way, it’s been a hell of a triumph.”

But there are also more insightful moments, such as Carter addressing the nature of Ford’s professional success. “People think success is a giant wave of blithe happiness,” Carter wrote. “In Tom’s case, it’s that, certainly — but it’s also the result of an almost otherworldly attention to details big and small.”

It’s a theme that Carter returns to again and again over the course of his introduction — while also giving a sense of Ford’s own aesthetic choices in different aspects of his life. It’s a fascinating look at a singular polymath.