I was researching the Internet for a marketing assignment I am doing when I came across this headline ‘Tom Ford is a father!’ and I immediately clicked on it. Obviously.
As it turns out, the feted fashion designer, 51, and his long-term partner Richard Buckley (pictured left, if you don’t know who Ford is), 64, has a new baby son recently. But that’s not the amazing part of the story. The most amazing part of it is that Ford has been in a relationship with Buckley for the past 25 years. That’s a relationship that is only slightly younger than me! How awesome is that?!
So I continued reading the article and it brought me to another link to where the original story was taken from: Out.com. And the recollections from Ford and Buckley on how they felt when they first saw each other, how they were both ready to settle down, fall in love, and how they are growing old together was so beautifully written that my eyes were moist by the time I finished reading it. I know, what’s up with my emotions the older I grow, right?! HAHA!
The couple met when Ford was just 25 (and a nobody then) and Buckley, the former editor-in-chief of Vogue Hommes International, was 38. And how their love began and continues to stay strong is a heart-warming story.
Tom Ford, designer:
You can look at someone and feel like you’ve known him forever. The first night I ever had drinks with Richard I felt I knew everything about him…
We first encountered each other at a fashion show in New York in 1986. 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.
Ten days later, my employer, Cathy Hardwick, sent me to the office of Women’s Wear Daily to retrieve some clothes. I was directed to the roof where they were being photographed, and as the elevator opened, there was the man with the eyes the color of water…
He was adorable, and he was a complete fool. He was sort of dancing around, flashing his eyes at me, and trying so hard to be charming. I decided in that elevator ride that I was going to marry him. I’m very pragmatic, and I was, like, OK, there’s some kind of connection here. He ticked every box, and — boom — by the time we got to the floor, I was like, OK, sold.
He seemed so together. He was so handsome, he was so connected, he was so grown-up, so he was very intimidating. And he really chased me — not that he had to chase that hard. It excited me but it also scared me, because I knew he was different and that whatever it was I felt with him was very different from what I’d felt before.
Now, we say it [I love you] 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.
Getting older together has been interesting because we’ve both changed. I was very quiet at the beginning of our relationship — I’m actually a very, extremely, almost pathologically shy person, which no one believes today, because I have also mastered a work/public façade that takes an enormous amount of energy to project. And Richard, when we first got together, was very, very social and very talkative.. but meeting us today you would think the opposite.
One of the things that always amuses me — amuses isn’t even the right word, because it doesn’t amuse me — but often, I’m at dinner parties with very close friends, straight, and they realize that Richard and I have been together 24 years, and the response is often, ‘Wow, you guys have been together 24 years! That’s so amazing. I don’t think of gay men being together that long.’ And I’m, like, ‘Why? What are you talking about?’ 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’m someone who likes being part of a couple and always wanted that and always sought that, and it would probably be true for me whether I was gay or straight.
Richard and I are bound together, and I think that’s what that recognition is when you look someone in the eyes and you feel like you’ve known them forever. It is a kind of coming home.
Richard Buckley, writer:
The whole time down in the elevator I was babbling on like a schoolgirl… I was shamelessly flirting with this boy. He, meanwhile, said nothing, and the quieter he was, the sillier I became.
For our 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 naive. But as we talked about other things, it was almost like seeing down a rabbit hole. I felt like I was looking at his eyes, and it was just spinning around and taking me down inside him. I could see he was a good man with a big heart.
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.