Given its current size and popularity, it's hard to believe that at one point Gucci was faltering and flying completely under the radar. Tom Ford was appointed as creative director of the fashion house in the mid-'90s, though, and revitalized it. The designer recently spoke with The Cut about turning Gucci around.
"I had a moment where nobody was looking at anything I did," Ford told The Cut. Ford said that the lack of attention was liberating, though, and gave him the freedom to design the type of clothing that brought Gucci back, and pull off some of the stunts that grabbed people's attention.
After his extremely successful Fall/Winter 1995 show, which featured Gucci loafers and velvet pants, the designer took a bow on the runway even though it was strictly forbidden in his contract. "I thought, You know what? I’m going to do what I think is right. I’m going to step on the runway," he said. Success will make a lot of problems disappear, though. "The next day you could not get into the showroom," Ford remembered. "It was absolute hysteria. So, no, no one gave me flak after that."
Ford doubled the brand's profits to $342 million in just the first nine months of 1995. He went on to be named one of the most influential designers, but even with all his success he never lost his drive. "Every time you turn your back and walk off the runway you think, 'Fuck, I got away with that this time. What am I going to do the next time?' Literally, I was always terrified"