The Sweet Story Of How Tom Ford Fell In Love With Fashion Editor Richard Buckley

Richard Buckley passed away at the longtime couple's home in Los Angeles on Sunday

by Freya Drohan

Tom Ford’s company announced the sad news that Richard Buckley, former editor in chief of Vogue Hommes International and the designer’s husband of 35-years, has passed away. Buckley, 72, is remembered for his tenured career in fashion journalism and is survived by the couple’s eight-year-son Jack. His death was reportedly due to natural causes that stemmed from a prolonged illness.

In 2011, the couple shared their story to Out magazine, revealing how they originally met in 1986. At the time, Ford was a “shy 25-year-old” who encountered then-38-year-old Buckley at a fashion show. Ford says he was captivated by Buckley’s eyes and found his handsomeness “unapproachable” but ten days later he was sent to Women’s Wear Daily, where Buckley was fashion editor, and found himself in an elevator with him. Ford recounted, “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.”

Richard Buckley and Tom Ford in 2020 (Patrick McMullan)

Buckley, telling the story, says that he had been just speaking of the man he’d spotted at the fashion show when he showed up in the elevator. “The whole time down…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..”

Buckley mentioned it to Ford’s boss who said, “he’s perfect for you” and seemingly told Ford, “Richard Buckley, the fashion editor of Women’s Wear Daily and editor of Scene, wants to go out with you. He’s very important. We need him. You take my credit card and go anywhere he wants to go.'” The rest, as they say, is history.

The couple soon became inseparable and moved in together after “barely a month.” Buckey said: “I’d been through a lot of relationships and was very suspicious of a lot of things, but with Tom I was careful not to repeat the mistakes I’d made with other guys. I’d been burned many times and had learned to keep people at arms’ length. And on New Year’s Eve 1986, we didn’t go out. We stayed at my little apartment on Saint Mark’s Place. I gave him a little Tiffany box, and inside was a key to my apartment. He moved in the next day.”

Ford also remembers that because of how many friends they were both losing to AIDS, there was a certain fear that affected their relationship early on but that would ultimately make their bond indelible. “[Richard] had come to that stage of his life at age 38, and I was at that stage at age 25, but we were both ready to settle down and fall in love and have a life with someone,” Ford said.

Three years into their relationship, Buckley was diagnosed with cancer. “We’ve had a fair amount of personal family tragedy, and things happen that do, ultimately, bring you closer, because they’re things you go through together and they make your history richer,” Ford recounted in the 2011 article.

“I couldn’t imagine being without Tom now,” Buckley said. “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.”

Of Buckley, Ford said: “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.”

Read the article here.

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