Tom Ford writes about being with his partner of 24 years


All too often, we go into our “default” opinions of people. Our default opinion of Tom Ford is that he’s a truth-telling judgy bitch who will shank you if you wear synthetics. But Tom wants us to know another side: the side that’s been a loving partner to Richard Buckley for nearly 25 years. They appear on the cover of Out Magazine together, and Tom has written an essay about their love. The Out tagline is: “Tom Ford was a shy 25-year-old when he met magazine editor Richard Buckley. It took him the length of an elevator ride to decide he wanted to marry him.” They’ve been through a lot, and I have to admit, this interview really moved me. The full piece is here, and here are Out Magazine’s highlights:

In an accompanying first-person story, Ford recalls riding on an elevator with Buckley in 1986, 10 days after first spotting him at a fashion show. “I decided in that elevator ride that I was going to marry him. He ticked every box, and—boom—by the time we got to the floor, I was like, 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.”

In the same piece Ford also recalls how AIDS overshadowed their burgeoning relationship. “One of the very first people to be diagnosed with what was then called gay cancer, in 1981, was a friend of mine. It completely flipped me out, and from then on, I was extremely safe. It probably saved my life, but it damaged the way I think about sex forever. You just associated sex with death—or at least, I did. If I made a list, I would say that half of our friends from the early ’80s are no longer with us.”

Ford also criticizes the tendency of people to view gay relationships as less committed than heterosexual ones. “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 think that preconception, from even very liberal, educated friends, that being gay is possibly more sex-based than emotionally based is surprising and shocking in today’s world.”

Ford’s partner, Richard Buckley, recalls Ford’s intense support and love when he was diagnosed with throat cancer in 1989. “There were people who Tom cut out of our lives because of the way they responded,” he says. “My best friend and one of my mentors had died, both from AIDS, and there were a lot of people who just assumed I had AIDS, and there were some people who wouldn’t come and visit me because they were sure they would catch it. 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.”

[From Out Magazine]

Richard was 38 when they met, and Tom was 25. They moved into together after a month of dating, and they’ve been together ever since. It’s a nice story, isn’t it? I knew Tom had a long-term partner, but I didn’t realize that he and Richard were still together, and that they had been together for almost 25 years. Sigh… Tom Ford isn’t going to marry me, is he?



Out Magazine cover courtesy of Out. Additional pics courtesy of WENN.

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41 Responses to “Tom Ford writes about being with his partner of 24 years”

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  1. lachica says:

    great story. i had no idea.

    but i get his point about associating sex with fear. there is something quite buttoned down about him. no pun intended.

  2. LOVE ANGELINA says:

    Goodness that was just pure romance. I live for romance. He is very lucky to have that and thats the kinda stuff I dream about. Very sweet. Being devoted to someone for so long and they devoted to you as well…awwww.

  3. WYIJM says:

    Wow, I can’t believe he’s almost 50 years old? I need to give my botox doctor a call again.

  4. PrettyTarheel says:

    I. Love. Tom. Ford. That is all.

  5. mln76 says:

    Great story. Really romantic. But I have to say I live in NY and have a lot of gay friends. I know a few who are in really committed relationships and would never cheat. I also know some men who live in full on debauchery and have well into their 40s and f–k whoever they want every day of the week. I just think many men (straight or gay) prefer not to be committed and many times commit(or attempt to commit) because their partners want it that way.

    BTW I also know alot of lesbians who got really super committed really quickly in the relationships seriously moved in on the third date to the point where I think boy are they moving too fast.

  6. Stubbylove says:

    Friggin love that Bitch.

  7. lola lola says:

    Richard is a brilliant writer. They are a ridiculously handsome couple. Its heartwarming when ANY couple lasts that long.

  8. fabgrrl says:

    How is that man 50 years old?!?! He looks 36 or 37.

  9. Rachel says:

    He is almost 50??? Holy God. I thought he was in his early 30’s.

  10. susanne says:

    HOT! Like a good looking Keanu with personality- bitchy personality! With gooey goodness inside.

    Love him.

  11. orion70 says:

    They are adorable and seem very much together. Richard does have gorgeous eyes, wow. V.lovely article.

    I admit though I lol’d a little when I read about them waiting OMG three WHOLE dates to have sex….and also this:

    “Apparently, when she came in the next morning, Cathy yelled, “Tender, get in here!” She told him, “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.”
    …sounds like a business transaction…

  12. photo jojo says:

    God he is just fabulous!

  13. Hollowdoll says:

    *sigh* Jealous and glad to hear that people can actually still make it work for 24+ years.

  14. dread pirate cuervo says:

    Love him!

  15. daisydoodle says:

    I think it’s great, everyone, gay or straight deserves happiness and love. Good for them!

  16. imherenow says:

    He makes my toes curl*sigh* Look wise, he reminds me of Dave Matthews

  17. esblondie says:

    Good Christ, that guy is hot.

  18. bagladey says:

    photo jojo: God he is just fabulous!


  19. Praise St. Angie! says:

    like so many of you, I was shocked to learn that Ford is almost 50! when I saw “partner of 24 years” my first thought was “what, did they get together when he was an underage teen?!”

    we should all look so good at 50. I’m betting that, besides the top-notch skin treatments he can get, he also stays out of the sun and probably doesn’t drink (much) or smoke.

    and I always love hearing about couples who’ve been together for so long, especially celebrity ones…considering the usual short-lived celeb couplings.

    DAMN, that man is fine.

  20. LindaR says:

    @ mln76 re: lesbian relationships moving fast. I once heard a joke: What does a lesbian bring with her on a second date? A moving van. I guess it’s well known that lesbians fall in love and commit quickly. I don’t think it works the same for men.

  21. Johnny Depp's Girl says:

    Wow that’s great

  22. Chickie Baby says:

    Tom Ford will be one of those great, never-aging handsome men that only get better looking with age.

  23. TeeTee says:

    Lord that man is soo fine.

  24. Crash2GO2 says:

    Well, someone here needs to set them straight about how all men are cheaters when given a chance, so this whole commitment thing they have going on is a sham!! 🙄

    What a very sweet story. Wouldn’t they have stunning children together if such a thing were possible??

  25. beth says:

    all i can think of when i see tom ford is, holy shit that guy has good genes or i want the number of his plastic surgeon.

    that said, you know a guy knows what love is, when he makes a movie like ‘a single man’ – yes, it was written by christopher isherwood by noone could have directed it like tom.
    what he and buckley have are truly enviable.

  26. anti says:

    love it! thanks for posting this!

  27. Ron says:

    Lovely article. I always find it interesting that people think gay men don’t have long term relationships. I, personally, will have been with my partner for 10 years on Feb 6. My best friends have been with their partners 18 and 7 years respectively. But Britney’s 55 hour marriage is more valid because there is a vagina and penis involved.

  28. xxodettexx says:

    “I think that preconception, from even very liberal, educated friends, that being gay is possibly more sex-based than emotionally based is surprising and shocking in today’s world.”

    i agree mr ford!

    @ron: haha, BUT vagina + penis = godly or didnt you know??? 😉 [thanks for the laugh btw]

  29. Emily says:

    @LindaR, that joke’s dated now. The new one is: What does a lesbian bring on the second date? A turkey baster.

    I have a friend who moved her gf in on their third month anniversary, and were engaged by 5 months. I keep expecting them to start canvassing my male friends for sperm donations.

  30. Rachael says:

    I’m on planet denial where he and I are getting married one day.

  31. Louise says:

    Tom Ford really confuses me. I always thought he was gay but in a previous article he said he dated Gwyneth Paltrow and other women. Now in this story he says he’s been in a homosexual relationship for 24 years. What’s going on?

  32. latam2012 says:

    thats nice, his eyes are funny. I genuinly thought he was like in his late 30’s..

  33. Liana says:

    @Louise, one of my friends always comments about our “dates,” especially our “first date” (the first time we went out to dinner together). He means it kind of tongue and cheek, like I’m his “straight wife.” I assumed that’s how Tom Ford meant it.

    And OMG, how wonderful and powerful was “A Single Man?”

  34. Shay says:

    Tom Ford may come across as an arrogant designer (like a baby version of Karl Lagerfeld), but he has to be the best dressed male designer…best dressed male ever.

  35. Matt says:

    Ron :

    “But Britney’s 55 hour marriage is more valid because there is a vagina and penis involved.”

    Haha love it!

    And congrats on the 10yr anniversary, I am coming up to five years with my partner and my uncle and his partner are coming up on 30 years together in monogamous relationship.

    There are both monogamous and promiscuous people everywhere and it is based on your personality not your sexual preference.

  36. Kloops says:

    It’s amazing not because he’s gay but because he’s famous. It’s so heartwarming when the rich and famous remain monogamous despite the many temptations. Man, he looks good for 50!

  37. Brenda says:

    WOoW!!!He is so freaking sexy!!!Every time I look at him I just want to smell him, he seems like he smells sexy too!I also think it’s really great that they have been together for so long. This is proof that true love and romance still exist in the world.

  38. Laura says:

    It was a gay man who told me that gay men are promiscuous. His reasons:
    A. Coming out=Kid in a candy store, have as much sex as possible.
    B. Take the high sex drive of men and multiply it by two (this guy also mocked lesbians and said they never got laid, mind).
    The other gay man I knew well was the exact opposite: romantic to the core. Really into cuddling and waiting to get intimate. Secret pining for someone. Et cetara. He insisted that all gay men were like that.
    Just goes to show you that everyone is different, and everyone thinks their way is the only way.

  39. Praise St. Angie! says:

    “But Britney’s 55 hour marriage is more valid because there is a vagina and penis involved”

    oh, Ron…I laughed at that, but it’s sad because it’s “true”…that is, “true” in the sense that it’s the conventional wisdom amongst some very bigoted people.

    The biggest “threat to the institution of marriage” is divorce, not gay marriage.

  40. Partygirl says:


  41. Henriette says:

    @ Kloops re “heartwarming when the rich and famous remain monogamous despite the many temptations.”

    Who said anything about monogamy? I believe they’ve been together and committed for decades, but I don’t believe for a second that they’re monogamous.