Designer Tom Ford turns from fashion to films
October 30 2004 12:00 AM ET
For out designer Tom Ford, it is goodbye to catwalks in Paris and hello to casting calls in Los Angeles as he looks to a new career as a film director. Ford, the creative director who transformed Gucci from a staid Florentine leather label into one of the world's sexiest trendsetters, has set up shop in Hollywood and has two movie projects in mind, he said in an interview late on Thursday. The step from designer to director is an unusual one, but Ford said he feels he can take the artistic vision he brought to the fashion world to the silver screen. "There are certain skill sets that are applicable to both. The most important thing is that you have to have a vision, you have to have a message, you have to have something to say," Ford said. Ford left Gucci this year after failing to reach a new contract with owner French retailer PRP.
Texas native Ford would not discuss details of his movie projects but said one is a book that he bought rights to for a screenplay while the other is something he wrote himself. Celebrated for years by the Hollywood glitterati, Ford's long list of friends stretch from Tom Hanks to Jennifer Lopez. Ford said he has a special place in his heart for the work of Alfred Hitchcock. "Hitchcock, for me, was a great director, and incredibly stylish and visual. Lots of shots he made were often taken from surrealist art," he said. One of most difficult transitions for him has been the long time it takes for a movie to get made in Hollywood compared to the frantic pace of seasonal fashion lines and shows. Ford said he has also gone from an army of 10,000 working for him at Gucci to a small staff of five in his new career. Ford came to Dallas for a party from local retailer Neiman Marcus to launch a behemoth of a new book that encapsulates his 10 years as the creative director of Gucci. "These are images that for me were iconic and important. Then, to put it all together as a book, and to say that was that chapter of my life. Now I can move on to the next," Ford said. "It was quite cathartic."