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tom ford and the gucci era

tom ford and the gucci era

when sabato de sarno was appointed creative director at gucci, the industry had no idea what to expect from this change in leadership. to some, de sarno’s collections lack vision and storytelling and rely too much on styling. the aesthetic is indeed completely different from alessandro michele’s. it’s effortless, nonchalant and a little naughty too. and while it’s still early to tell what the future holds for the italian house under de sarno’s reign, to me gucci hasn’t been the same since tom ford's departure in 2004.

when tom ford emerged as gucci’s creative director in 1994 - at the time, the term was “design director” - he was still relatively unknown. the task before him was enormous. never one to shy away from a challenge, ford not only saved gucci from an eminent collapse but also helped solidify the brand’s place in the fashion landscape. his debut collection for fall 1995 was a daring statement. in its new guise, gucci became synonymous with sophisticated sensuality. ford’s silhouettes were sharp, distinctive, bold and unapologetic sexy.

the years between 1994 and 2004 were a major moment in fashion history. listed in no particular order, here are my favorite collections from tom ford’s era at gucci:

for spring 2003, the motto was short as legs were definitely out. my highlights from this collection? the silk kimonos used as beach cover-ups and the little A line embroidery dress seen on ai tominaga.GUCCI FALL 1996
perhaps one of ford’s most memorable collections to date. for gucci fall 1996, the american designer proved that suits can be the epitome of sensuality but the stand out pieces were the jersey cut out dresses that until this day are on top of the wishlists of many fashion collectors.

at the time, ford said this was his most “worked collection” and there was nothing basic about it. the aesthetic was clearly gothic with models rocking messy hairstyles and cross necklaces and the silhouettes featured obi-belts in reference to the japanese imaginary.

the ending of an era. his final collection for gucci was an ode to some of his most iconic moments as creative director - the white cutout jersey dresses were a reprise of his fall 1996 collection - and the culmination of what the gucci woman embodied: confidence, sophistication and sexiness.

cátia santos reis "the world is yours but greece is mine” could be her mantra as cátia santos reis is yet to find a greek island she hasn’t fallen in love with. in the meantime, she keeps traveling the world. for CINCO editorial, the 34 year-old, will share her favorite things to do, visit and eat in every destination.

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