The legendary designer marks his departure with a reissue of his greatest hits.
Tom Ford steps back
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 13: Honorary chair Tom Ford attends The 2021 Met Gala Celebrating In America: A Lexicon Of Fashion at Metropolitan Museum of Art on September 13, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)

Tom Ford, the legendary designer who is credited with bringing sex to modern fashion, and reinvigorating Gucci into the household name it is today, has revealed that he will be stepping back from his namesake brand.

His announcement came out of the blue, with little fanfare or even any heartfelt words from the man himself. Instead, he chose to drop the news by way of a swansong collection of signature pieces blasted by his brand’s Instagram page, with the simple caption: “Tom Ford, in his final collection for his eponymous brand, has turned to his archives and reissued his favourite looks from the past 13 years.”

In the seemingly subdued post, the farewell collection was made in “homage” to the Tom Ford woman and is embodied by some of his longtime muses Amber Valetta, Joan Smalls, Karen Elson, Karlie Kloss, and Caroline Trentini. The campaign was shot by Steven Klein and styled by Carine Roitfeld. Looks revisited some of his greatest hits over the course of his tenure, including a leopard print pantsuit, molten breastplates, slinky gowns and a bedazzled football jersey.

While the announcement itself was rather understated for the icon, the drama of the videos was perfectly on brand, with shots of Ford in his trademark suit and glasses, wistfully observing his final collection through glass windows, making for a poignant image.

Ford’s illustrious career took off in the early ’90s when he served as the creative director of Gucci. In just a few years, the Texas native completely transformed the brand into one of the most covetable labels in the world. His legacy of luxury and opulent glamour has made his work a staple on red carpets, and he can be thanked for pioneering the modern ‘Rich Girl’ aesthetic we’ve come to aspire to.

Tom Ford archive Gucci
MILAN, ITALY: A model wears a creation as part of Tom Ford’s last show for Gucci during the Autumn/Winter 2004-2005 collections presentation at Milan fashion week 25 February 2004. AFP PHOTO / Patrick HERTZOG (Photo credit should read PATRICK HERTZOG/AFP via Getty Images)

Whispers of Ford’s departure had been circling since he sold his label to Estée Lauder for $2.8 billion USD in November 2022. While the decision was set to offer the 61-year-old a change of pace after the tragic passing of his husband Richard Buckley in 2021, many were convinced the move spelled out his imminent retirement.

Though the industry will wait with bated breath for the announcement of a successor, current rumours speculate that menswear design director Peter Hawkings will take over. The news comes after a series of major changes in the fashion industry over the last six months,  with Alessandro Michele leaving Gucci, Jeremy Scott quitting Moschino, Raf Simons shutting down Raf Simons, and Pharrell Williams being appointed creative director of Louis Vuitton menswear.

This article originally appeared in GRAZIA INTERNATIONAL .