Just in time for Milan Fashion Week starting today, the fashion industry is on fire this week, with rumours that Tom Ford is set to make a return to the catwalk. The designer-turned-film-director is said to be looking to raise seriously big bucks – thought to be around $50m – to launch his own womenswear label (according to two unnamed sources by private equity site peHUB).
Much missed in fashion following his outstanding performance as creative director at Gucci (those sexy velvet trouser suits! The car-paint accessories!) and Yves Saint Laurent (moody sheer peasant blouses! Ruffles and fringes!), since starting his own line in 2004, Ford has successfully launched collections of menswear, fragrance, and eyewear, but he has yet to design women's ready-to-wear under his own label.
Adding fuel to the fire: Ford’s former right-hand woman at Gucci, Alessandra Facchinetti, is rumoured to already be working on Ford’s new designs. Facchinetti worked as head designer for womenswear at Gucci, before taking over from Ford when he left the label in 2003. Facchinetti was last seen as head designer at Valentino, where she lasted only one season before being unceremoniously fired in February. The fashion industry has been somewhat surprised that there has since been no announcement of a new appointment for the talented designer.
Fashion is notorious for creating subtle indicators of behind-the-scenes industry manoeuvres (for example, when a designer sits front row at another designer’s catwalk show, it can be a nod that they will soon be taking over the reigns at the label). Sure enough, French Vogue editor Carine Roitfeld was spotted in Paris and London at the shows wearing a pencil skirt with lace panel insert from Ford’s 2003 collection at Yves Saint Laurent, and style obsessives have gone into overdrive, taking this as a sign that Ford will soon be back as part of the fashion landscape.
Whether or not the rumours are true, we’re just enjoying the idea of all that sexy Tom Ford womenswear hanging in our wardrobes. First Phoebe Philo returns to the catwalk (her first collection for Celine will be debuting at Paris Fashion Week next month) and now this!