Tom Ford’s husband and partner of 35 years Richard Buckley dies, aged 72, of natural causes

Tom Ford’s husband, fashion journalist Richard Buckley, passed away peacefully from natural causes at their Los Angeles home on Sunday night after battling prolonged illness.

‘It is with great sadness that Tom Ford announces the death of his beloved husband of 35 years, Richard Buckley,’ a statement from the family read.

‘Richard passed away peacefully at their home in Los Angeles last night with Tom and their son Jack by his side. He died of natural causes after a long illness.’ 

Specific details surrounding Buckley’s death have not yet been released. 

Ford, 60, – who is worth $500million – originally met Buckley, 72, at a New York fashion show in 1986. 

They were partners for over three decades and officially wed in 2014 shortly after same-sex marriage was legalized in the U.S. The couple also shares an eight-year-old son, Alexander John ‘Jack’ Buckley Ford. 

Tom Ford's (L, pictured in 2017) beloved husband - fashion journalist Richard Buckley (R) - passed away peacefully at from natural causes on Sunday night in Los Angeles

Tom Ford's (L, pictured in 2017) beloved husband - fashion journalist Richard Buckley (R) - passed away peacefully at from natural causes on Sunday night in Los Angeles

Tom Ford’s (L, pictured in 2017) beloved husband – fashion journalist Richard Buckley (R) – passed away peacefully at from natural causes on Sunday night in Los Angeles

Buckley (pictured in 2014) - who underwent surgery for throat cancer in 1989 - was said to have been battling prolonged illness. Specific details surrounding his cause of death have not yet been released

Buckley (pictured in 2014) - who underwent surgery for throat cancer in 1989 - was said to have been battling prolonged illness. Specific details surrounding his cause of death have not yet been released

Buckley (pictured in 2014) – who underwent surgery for throat cancer in 1989 – was said to have been battling prolonged illness. Specific details surrounding his cause of death have not yet been released

According to a statement from Ford, Buckley died at their Los Angeles home (pictured) with his husband and eight-year-old son, Alexander John 'Jack' Buckley Ford, by his side

According to a statement from Ford, Buckley died at their Los Angeles home (pictured) with his husband and eight-year-old son, Alexander John 'Jack' Buckley Ford, by his side

According to a statement from Ford, Buckley died at their Los Angeles home (pictured) with his husband and eight-year-old son, Alexander John ‘Jack’ Buckley Ford, by his side

The couple met when Ford, who took over the reigns at Gucci before launching his own successful company, was just 25 and Buckley was 38. 

Ford previously described the encounter as ‘love at first sight’.

‘Our eyes locked and within a month we were living together,’ Ford said during a 2016 television interview reported on by People Magazine.

‘We have been together ever since.’

According to Ford, he and Buckley were riding in a New York elevator together and had an instant connection. 

He claims by the end of the ride, he knew he had found the man he would spend the rest of his life with.

‘I am an intuitive person – but also a rational person – and we were in an elevator and we went down about 10 floors and Richard was patting his eyes and talking a lot. And I remember just sort of standing back and looking him up and down – taking him in – and by the time that elevator landed on the ground floor I was like, “You’re the one; that’s it; Click! Sold,”‘ Ford shared. 

‘It was literally love at first sight.’

Three years later, in 1989, Buckley was diagnosed with throat cancer and underwent surgery. Despite being told it could be fatal, he pulled through and the couple’s luck changed for the better. 

They welcomed their son, Jack, who is turning 9 on Thursday, into their lives in 2012. He was born via a surrogate.

The tastemaking couple – who shared residences in London, Richard’s native New York and Tom’s Santa Fe hometown – were wed in 2014 in a what is assumed to be a private, intimate ceremony.

35 years strong: Ford originally met Buckley in 1986 at a New York fashion show and they wed in 2014 shortly after same-sex marriage was legalized in the States (pictured in 1997)

35 years strong: Ford originally met Buckley in 1986 at a New York fashion show and they wed in 2014 shortly after same-sex marriage was legalized in the States (pictured in 1997)

35 years strong: Ford originally met Buckley in 1986 at a New York fashion show and they wed in 2014 shortly after same-sex marriage was legalized in the States (pictured in 1997)

Newsman: Buckley worked for publications like New York Magazine, Women's Wear Daily, Vanity Fair, Mirabella, Italian Vogue, and Vogue Hommes International where he served as editor in chief (pictured in 2013 with Gwyneth Paltrow)

Newsman: Buckley worked for publications like New York Magazine, Women's Wear Daily, Vanity Fair, Mirabella, Italian Vogue, and Vogue Hommes International where he served as editor in chief (pictured in 2013 with Gwyneth Paltrow)

Newsman: Buckley worked for publications like New York Magazine, Women’s Wear Daily, Vanity Fair, Mirabella, Italian Vogue, and Vogue Hommes International where he served as editor in chief (pictured in 2013 with Gwyneth Paltrow)

‘I know that was just made legal in the UK, which is great. We were married in the States,’ Ford told MailOnline at the time, giving no further details as to the where and when the wedding occurred. 

Buckley was born in 1948 in Binghamton, N.Y. and grew up in a military family that lived in the U.S. France and Germany.

He attended the University of Maryland in Munich and following graduation pursued a career in journalism.

His journalistic career began in 1979 at New York Magazine and in 1982 he moved to Paris to serve as the European editor of Fairchild Publications’ Daily News Record, according to Women’s Wear Daily.

Buckley was recognized in the professional community for his ‘uncanny ability’ to spot the ‘next big thing’ and had spotted talented several designers, musicians, actors and actresses right before they began stars.

He spent also worked with several other world-renown publications including Women’s Wear Daily, Vanity Fair, Mirabella, Italian Vogue, and Vogue Hommes International where he served as editor in chief.   

Super Bowl of style: Tom (R) was last pictured on September 13 serving honorary chair duties at the Met Gala alongside (from L-R) Adam Mosseri, Billie Eilish, Amanda Gorman, Anna Wintour, Timothée Chalamet, and Naomi Osaka

Super Bowl of style: Tom (R) was last pictured on September 13 serving honorary chair duties at the Met Gala alongside (from L-R) Adam Mosseri, Billie Eilish, Amanda Gorman, Anna Wintour, Timothée Chalamet, and Naomi Osaka

Super Bowl of style: Tom (R) was last pictured on September 13 serving honorary chair duties at the Met Gala alongside (from L-R) Adam Mosseri, Billie Eilish, Amanda Gorman, Anna Wintour, Timothée Chalamet, and Naomi Osaka

The couple was well respected by professionals across several industries worldwide (Buckley is pictured with English fashion designer Vivienne Westwood in 2009)

The couple was well respected by professionals across several industries worldwide (Buckley is pictured with English fashion designer Vivienne Westwood in 2009)

Buckley is pictured with British-American journalist Anna Wintour in 2013

Buckley is pictured with British-American journalist Anna Wintour in 2013

The couple was well respected by professionals across several industries worldwide. Buckley is seen pictured with English fashion designer Vivienne Westwood (left in 2009) and British-American journalist Anna Wintour (right in 2013)

Ford was last pictured on September 13 serving honorary chair duties at the Met Gala alongside Adam Mosseri, Billie Eilish, Amanda Gorman, Anna Wintour, Timothée Chalamet and Naomi Osaka.

The CFDA chairman of the board launched his eponymous luxury brand in 2005, having previously served as the creative director at Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent.

He also received acclaim for writing, producing and directing the 2009 drama A Single Man and the 2016 psychological thriller Nocturnal Animals.

How Tom Ford’s relationship with the love of his life Richard Buckley withstood the test of time, and the fickle fashion world, to last 35 years after they first met in an elevator when Ford told him: ‘You’re the one’ 

American fashion designer and filmmaker Tom Ford attributes his long-lasting romance with journalist Richard Buckley to true love and respect.

Ford, who secretly married Buckley in 2014 after 27 years of dating, says he knew the journalist was ‘the one’ from the moment they met.

‘I went to a fashion show and this silver-haired guy was staring at me with these piercing water-blue eyes. It scared me because I absolutely saw and knew my entire future,’ Ford recalled in a 2016 interview ahead of their 30-year-anniversary, MSN reports.

‘About 10 days later, someone asked if [Buckley] was seeing anyone. He said, ‘No, there was this guy I had seen at a fashion show,’ and at that moment, the elevator door opened and there I was. Richard jumps in the elevator and he’s practically tap dancing.’

American fashion designer and filmmaker Tom Ford attributes his long-lasting romance with journalist Richard Buckley (pictured together in 2017) to true love and respect

American fashion designer and filmmaker Tom Ford attributes his long-lasting romance with journalist Richard Buckley (pictured together in 2017) to true love and respect

American fashion designer and filmmaker Tom Ford attributes his long-lasting romance with journalist Richard Buckley (pictured together in 2017) to true love and respect

‘I remember just sort of standing back and looking him up and down – taking him in – and by the time that elevator landed on the ground floor I was like, “You’re the one; that’s it; Click! Sold.”‘

Ford said the couple shared an instant connection in the elevator and it was ‘literally love at first sight.’ 

He continued: ‘We had three dates. We were living together four weeks later. He gave me the keys to his apartment, and we have lived together ever since.’

The couple wed shortly after shortly after same-sex marriage was legalized in the U.S. and welcomed their son, Jack, who is turning 9 on Thursday, into their lives in 2012. He was born via a surrogate.

They most recently lived in Los Angeles and have also shared residences in London, Richard’s native New York and Tom’s Santa Fe hometown. 

Ford has previously shared that he and Buckley had such a successful relationship because they had a bond built on mutual respect and trust. 

‘If the person you’re with is someone you respect, who you believe has a great heart and a great soul, as good a heart and soul that you will ever find, don’t ever leave them, because you won’t find anyone better,’ he told Entertainment Weekly in 2016.

Ford, whose net worth is half billion dollars, is one of the fashion industry’s most celebrated designers.

The Texas-native became the creator director at Gucci in 1994 – a time when the brand was nearly bankrupt and considered ‘unfashionable,’ according to Business of Fashion 500. 

He is credited with bringing ‘sexiness and glamour’ to Gucci, building the company into a brand that is now worth billions of dollars.

He left the company in 2004, citing creative differences with management. 

Ford, whose net worth is half billion dollars, is one of the fashion industry's most celebrated designers (Pictured: Richard Buckley, honoree Tom Ford and honorary co-chair Rita Wilson attend WCRF's An Unforgettable Evening in 2017)

Ford, whose net worth is half billion dollars, is one of the fashion industry's most celebrated designers (Pictured: Richard Buckley, honoree Tom Ford and honorary co-chair Rita Wilson attend WCRF's An Unforgettable Evening in 2017)

Ford, whose net worth is half billion dollars, is one of the fashion industry’s most celebrated designers (Pictured: Richard Buckley, honoree Tom Ford and honorary co-chair Rita Wilson attend WCRF’s An Unforgettable Evening in 2017)

Tom Ford and Richard Buckley attend the premiere of 'Nocturnal Animals' during the 73rd Venice Film Festival at Sala Grande on September 2, 2016 in Venice

Tom Ford and Richard Buckley attend the premiere of 'Nocturnal Animals' during the 73rd Venice Film Festival at Sala Grande on September 2, 2016 in Venice

Tom Ford and Richard Buckley attend the premiere of ‘Nocturnal Animals’ during the 73rd Venice Film Festival at Sala Grande on September 2, 2016 in Venice

‘I never thought I would leave Gucci,’ he told Entertainment Weekly when questioned about his departure. 

‘As a fashion designer I was very satisfied, because I was free to create what I felt was right. It was quite devastating.’

Following his departure from Gucci, Ford settled in Los Angeles and directed and produced his first film, A Single Man – which garnered an Oscar Academy nomination, Golden Globe nomination and won several awards worldwide.

He shared that he had planned to retire from the fashion world permanently but experienced a void in his life.

‘I wasn’t prepared for what it felt like when you had such a crowded calendar and life and your identity is kind of wiped away,’ Ford said.

‘I had blank pages on my calendar. It took me much longer to find a film project that spoke to me.’ 

Ford returned to the fashion industry in 2006, launching his own label, Tom Ford Beauty. He started with cosmetics and menswear before growing the brand to include womenswear, which has become his signature and trademark.

He also maintained a presence in the film world, writing and directing ‘Nocturnal Animals’ in 2016. The film was critically acclaimed, winning multiple awards and receiving both Golden Globe and Oscars nominations. 

In March 2019, he became chairman of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), succeeding Diane von Furstenberg, who had previously held the position for 13 years.

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