Tom Ford was born in 1961 in Austin, Texas. He studied Art History for a year at New York’s prestigious NYU but dropped out after a year and turned his efforts to acting. He concentrated on acting for six years and moved to Los Angeles where he starred in twelve national advertising campaigns. However, in the late seventies he arrived back in New York and frequented the popular nightclub Studio 54, he stayed in New York and studied interior design at Parson’s School of Design before spending a year and a half in Paris working as an intern in Chloé’s press office. At this point he realised his interests lay in fashion and after graduating he started working for Cathy Hardwick. In 1988, Ford moved to Perry Ellis as design director of the Woman’s American Division but he grew tired of the classic-American style and relocated to Milan, where he worked for Gucci. Tom Ford designed his first menswear collection in 1992, and in the same year took over Gucci ready-to-wear, fragrances, image, advertising and store design and just two years later became the brand’s creative director. When Gucci acquired the house of Yves Saint Laurent (YSL) in 1999, Ford was named Creative Director of that label as well. In 2004, he left Gucci and focused on his own label which expanded to include eyewear and cosmetics - Tom Ford has described "the Tom Ford customer" as an ‘international, cultured and well-traveled’, he said he dressed "strong and intelligent women who know their own style".