A night out: Tom Ford at the 2021 Met Gala, with Heron Preston.
Photo: Sean Zanni/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images
If any fashion designer incarnates the idea of fashion designer — the suave, swaggering archetype, opining Olympianly on matters of taste, the unbuttoned shirt and the gimlet eye, equally prepared to dress you up or dress you down — it is Tom Ford. Over the course of nine or so lives in fashion, Ford has played the role with Halston-esque poise. (A few years ago, he bought Halston’s old New York pad, as if to cement the lineage.) Ford’s highs and lows have been exhaustively catalogued: his meteoric rise at Gucci, where he presided over the label’s return to relevance in the ’90s and early ’00s, and, at Gucci Group, helped to create the model of the contemporary luxury group; his penchant for provocation and his embrace of glamour and