The TOM FORD Brand acquired by ELC, appoints executive leadership

Left to Right: Peter Hawkings, Creative Director at TOM FORD and Guillaume Jesel, President and CEO of TOM FORD
Left to Right: Peter Hawkings, Creative Director at TOM FORD and Guillaume Jesel, President and CEO of TOM FORD

The TOM FORD brand, now owned by The Estée Lauder Companies Inc., announced the appointments of Guillaume Jesel to President and Chief Executive Officer, TOM FORD, and Peter Hawkings to Creative Director, TOM FORD, effective at the closing of the acquisition. Ermenegildo Zegna N.V. (Zegna Group) has appointed a CEO of TOM FORD FASHION who is expected to be announced in July and assume the role in the third quarter of calendar 2023.

These newly appointed leaders will work together to ensure a consistent and cohesive image across all products, brand communication and retail. In addition, The Estée Lauder Companies (ELC) has acquired the TOM FORD brand in a transformational transaction that establishes the company as the sole owner of the TOM FORD brand and all its intellectual property.

What are the changes at the TOM FORD Brand?

The stewardship of the brand by ELC and the leaders announced, and through its licenses with the Zegna Group for fashion and accessories, and Marcolin Group for eyewear, provides continuity and allows for the further evolution of the TOM FORD brand as one of the global luxury brands of the 21st century. The Zegna Group acquired operations of the TOM FORD fashion business (TOM FORD FASHION) to perform its obligations as a licensee of ELC.

Tom Ford and Domenico De Sole will continue to serve as brand advisors through the end of calendar 2023. About the new leadership appointments, Tom Ford said, “I could not be happier with the acquisition of the TOM FORD brand by The Estée Lauder Companies. The team there has been a great partner and Guillaume is an exceptional leader, with not only a strong business understanding of beauty, but a great understanding of fashion as well.”

“I am also pleased that the Zegna Group will continue to manufacture and distribute TOM FORD fashion and accessories, and operate retail for TOM FORD FASHION. I have worked closely with Zegna for over 30 years, first at Gucci, then at Yves Saint Laurent. When contemplating the creation of TOM FORD there was no other partner that we would have turned to, to produce high quality fashion products and a flawless retail experience.”

Tom Ford, Founder of the TOM FORD Brand
Tom Ford, Founder of the TOM FORD Brand

“Marcolin has been an excellent partner in producing and distributing TF eyewear since the inception of the brand and I have enjoyed close collaboration with Maurizio Marcolin and his talented team for many years now. These companies, under the brand stewardship of The Estée Lauder Companies, provide me with confidence that the TOM FORD brand will continue to be something that I will be proud of for many years to come,” Tom Ford further added.

Domenico De Sole said, “I am delighted with this acquisition. We have had a long-standing partnership between the TOM FORD brand and ELC dating from the brand’s inception, as well as a close relationship with Gildo Zegna and the Zegna Group over the past 30 years.”

“Given our long and successful histories together, I am certain that the two companies, together, will carry on the legacy that Tom and I have built over the past 18 years. I am grateful to Tom for his magnificent vision and leadership, and I thank our amazingly talented TOM FORD team for their dedication to and hard work for the brand,” De Sole added.

What do the appointees bring to the TOM FORD Brand?

The CEO of TOM FORD FASHION has been appointed and is expected to be announced in July and assume the role in the third quarter of calendar 2023. The new company leader will be responsible for the end-to-end TOM FORD FASHION business from collection development, to merchandising, through to production as well as retail and wholesale distribution.

Guillaume Jesel

Guillaume Jesel brings nearly a decade of successful brand leadership of TOM FORD BEAUTY to his new executive leadership position at the TOM FORD brand. As President and CEO of TOM FORD, Guillaume will have oversight across all verticals and set a holistic luxury strategy for the brand. Guillaume will report to ELC executive leaders Jane Hertzmark Hudis, Executive Group President, and Tracey T. Travis, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.

Fabrizio Freda, President and CEO of The Estée Lauder Companies
Fabrizio Freda, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Estée Lauder Companies

“Guillaume has been instrumental in shaping the luxury beauty sector of our business. His ability to articulate the TOM FORD brand has resulted in TOM FORD BEAUTY achieving remarkable global success, making him ideally suited to lead the TOM FORD brand into its exciting future,” said Fabrizio Freda, President and CEO, The Estée Lauder Companies.

Ermenegildo Zegna, CEO of Ermenegildo Zegna Group said, “We are delighted to appoint a strong leader for TOM FORD FASHION and look forward to leveraging the leader’s luxury business acumen and expertise to further grow the TOM FORD FASHION business globally. I am thrilled about the opportunities that this transaction brings as we continue the journey started by Tom and Domenico whom we congratulate for their remarkable achievements.”

Under Guillaume’s leadership at TOM FORD BEAUTY, where he worked with Tom Ford and his team, the brand spearheaded innovation and expanded its global reach, firmly establishing TOM FORD BEAUTY as a powerhouse in luxury beauty. Since 2014 when Guillaume started at the brand, he has led the brand to achieve strong net sales growth on a compound annual basis and improved ranking in global prestige fragrance and makeup, respectively.

Peter Hawkings

Peter Hawkings has been working alongside Tom Ford for nearly 25 years, most recently as SVP of TOM FORD Menswear. Peter will succeed Tom Ford with respect to his responsibilities as Creative Director of Fashion, including womenswear, menswear and accessory categories, assuming the role of lead designer for the fashion segment and fashion shows.

Peter will be responsible for upholding the TOM FORD brand’s vision, ensuring consistency of creative direction and decisions and ushering the TOM FORD brand into its next chapter. He will report directly to Guillaume and matrix report to the CEO of TOM FORD FASHION.

“In Peter the brand has found the perfect Creative Director. He began working with me 25 years ago as a menswear design assistant at Gucci and worked his way up to become the senior men’s designer when he left to join me at TOM FORD. Since the creation of TOM FORD menswear, Peter has been instrumental in the success of the brand,” commented Tom Ford.

“He is a talented leader with expertise, and his appointment gives me confidence that my commitment to creating products with the highest level of design and quality will continue.”

Peter Hawkings began his career in 1998 at Gucci under the helm of Tom Ford and worked closely with him on the development of the highly successful Gucci menswear collections. Peter Hawkings left Gucci in 2006 to join Tom Ford in the launch of his eponymous brand where he was charged with overseeing the design and production of all categories of TOM FORD menswear including tailoring, sportswear, leather goods, and accessories.

“Peter is one of the most accomplished menswear designers. His expertise working under Tom Ford is unparalleled and his commitment to quality is relentless. There is no one more perfectly suited to carry the founder’s creative vision into the future,” said Guillaume.