Tom Ford announces new Creative director and CEO
Peter Hawkings (left) and Guillaume Jesel (right)

Tom Ford announces new Creative director and CEO

May 1, 2023

The world of fashion bids farewell to Tom Ford, the iconic designer who revolutionized the industry with his namesake label. As Ford moves on to pursue his filmmaking aspirations, Peter Hawkings, a long-time associate, is set to take over the role of creative director. The appointment of Hawkings signifies a new chapter in the Tom Ford brand, backed by the Estée Lauder Companies and under the leadership of Guillaume Jesel as the new chief executive.

Following Tom Ford’s departure as creative director of his eponymous fashion label, the torch has been passed on to Peter Hawkings. With a long-standing history of collaboration, Hawkings and Ford first joined forces during the latter’s tenure as creative director at Gucci. The new creative director’s appointment comes as the Estée Lauder Companies finalize their $2.8 billion acquisition of the Tom Ford brand.

Alongside Hawkings, Guillaume Jesel is named as the new chief executive of Tom Ford. Jesel brings extensive experience, having been with Estée Lauder since 2000, working with brands like MAC Cosmetics and Balmain Beauty. As the president of Tom Ford Beauty since 2014, Jesel played a pivotal role in the brand’s journey to becoming a billion-dollar beauty business.

Tom Ford’s acquisition by Estée Lauder led to a division of the brand’s assets: Ermenegildo Zegna Group, Tom Ford‘s long-term menswear manufacturing partner, acquired the fashion portion of the business, while Estée Lauder now owns the beauty business and intellectual property. Zegna will produce both mens and womenswear collections and will appoint a CEO for the fashion business in the coming summer.

Speculation about Ford’s future role with his brand has been circulating since Estée Lauder’s acquisition was announced in November 2022. At the time, Estée Lauder stated that Ford would remain the “creative visionary” until the end of 2023. Meanwhile, Domenico De Sole, Ford’s long-standing business partner and Tom Ford brand chairman, will continue to serve in an advisory capacity during the transition.

Tom Ford established his namesake brand in 2005 after a decade as Gucci’s top designer. His final collection featured re-issued favorites from the past 13 years, worn by renowned models such as Amber Valletta, Karlie Kloss, Karen Elson and Joan Smalls.

As Ford transitions from fashion to film, he plans to focus on his production company, Fade to Black, directing movies like “A Single Man” and “Nocturnal Animals“.

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