Tom Ford to launch his own label

Mimi Avins

When last heard from, Tom Ford was serving as guest editor of Vanity Fair's annual Hollywood issue and putting himself, Scarlett Johansson and Keira Knightley on the magazine's cover (he with clothes on, they without). Now word's out on his next venture: The former Gucci designer will launch a line of ready-to-wear and custom clothing, footwear and accessories for men under the Tom Ford label.

The collection will initially be available only at the first Tom Ford store, which will open on Madison Avenue in New York this fall.

Domenico De Sole, the executive who left Gucci with Ford 2 1/2 years ago, is chairman of the Tom Ford label. "We are poised to establish the first true luxury brand of the 21st century," he said. Additional stores are planned for Los Angeles, Milan, London and Tokyo.

Ford said that his decision to create menswear doesn't mean he has given up his directing ambition. "My film career is in no way being placed on hold, but we all know how long it can take to get a film project off the ground," he said Monday. He said he will continue to spend at least half of each year in Los Angeles, where he has a home. The Ermenegildo Zegna group will produce and distribute the new line.

Mimi Avins

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