The love between Tom Ford and Richard Buckley will likely go down in history as one of the most memorable romances in fashion. The designer and fashion editor have been together for a quarter of a century, preserving their relationship while working in an industry where nothing is certain and everything (models, clothes, business strategies, executive roll calls) changes as frequently as its power players change their clothes.
But these power players have found a constant in one another, having been together since their unlikely meeting when Ford was a 25-year-old assistant to Cathy Hardwick and when Buckley was 38 and editing both Scene magazine and the fashion section of WWD. In the new month’s issue of OUT each man tells the story of meeting the other, their first impressions, and the beginnings of their life together. It’s too good a story not to read the whole thing, but we’ve excerpted our favorite parts below:
Ford on their first meeting:
We first encountered each other at a fashion show in New York in 1986. He was 38 at the time and the fashion editor of Women’s Wear Daily. He was confident and handsome in a way that made him almost unapproachable. His stare was so intense that it completely unnerved me, and when the show was over I literally bolted out the door and down the street to avoid him.
Buckley on their first date:
Tom sat there chit-chatting: “And in 10 years I’m going to be showing my own collection in Paris, and I’m going to be a millionaire, and I’m going to do this, and I’m going to do that.” And I kept thinking, This guy is really naïve.
Ford on the L word:
It was probably a few days before we were saying things like, “I think I’m in love with you.” Now, we say it to each other every night before we go to sleep, and we say it at the end of every telephone conversation, and we write it at the end of every e-mail. Every time you think, I love you, I really believe you have to say it. If you think about holding their hand or kissing them, you do it. I do it all the time.
Buckley on living with fashion’s golden boy:
I couldn’t imagine being without Tom now. I couldn’t imagine what I’d be like if something happened to him. There’s only one Tom for me. He is still that man who I met 24 years ago, who has a good heart.
Ford on being together for 24 years:
Some of the longest relationships I know of are same-sex couples. A lot of my straight friends have married and divorced and married and divorced in the time Richard and I have been together. I think that preconception, from even very educated liberal friends, that being gay is possibly more sex-based than emotionally based, is surprising and shocking in today’s world.
Honestly. If you’ve got a few minutes to spare, try not to read the entirety of their story. You’ll find it here.
Tom Ford and Richard Buckley Forever [OUT Magazine]