“I love to design.” – Tom Ford
Add leading American fashion designer Tom Ford to the list of accomplished dyslexic designers and film directors. Tom Ford is best known for his Tom Ford label of clothing and eyewear, but he was also film director for the Oscar-nominated film A Single Man, designer of clothing for the hit series Suits, and past creative director for Gucci and Saint-Laurent.
He recently mentioned being dyslexic when he talked about having a driver when he was in the UK.
“I was always very visual, always interested in design,” he recalls. “I don’t mean that I sat around at age 5 sketching clothes. But if my parents went out to dinner and left me alone, I would rearrange all the living room furniture before they came back home.” Ford says that his parents “encouraged me to do anything. If I wanted art lessons, they found paint and a teacher.”Ford had two early role models in fashion: his mother and grandmother. “My mother was very chic, very classic,” he recalls. “My paternal grandmother was very stylish in a very Texas way—everything big and flashy, from jewelry to car.” Ford would later combine those two styles as he reinvented Gucci’s image in the mid-1990s. “The images of beauty you get in your childhood stick with you for life,” Ford later explained. “So there’s a certain flashiness at Gucci—Texas-inspired—with a certain Western feel.”
Ford had some school hopping as a teen and adult, a common path for many dyslexic folk. He enrolled in Simon’s Rock, then dropped out, then NYU to study art history, but left after a year to do commercials. After a few years, he returned to New York to enroll in Parsons School of Design in architecture. Suddenly one day he said, “What am I doing?’ Architecture was just way too … serious. I mean, every architectural project I ever did, I worked a dress into it somehow. So I realized that fashion was the right balance between art and commerce, and that was it.”An interesting quote from Tom Ford: “I’m living the exact life I planned on living when I was five.”
Is there some wisdom in this?
Fashion designers have M-strengths in terms of their ability to design in 3d, but their I & N strengths come into play with their designs for specific people, symbols or statements, and stories or character they want to convey. Photo Reference.