A major figure in the late 1990s and early millennium world of international fashion, Tom Ford was a designer and creative director whose sexy, stylish creations helped to turn the houses of Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent from fading icons to powerhouse labels. A childhood steeped in creativity took Ford from the southwest to New York and Paris, where his talent and charm helped bring him into the Gucci fold. There, he brought elegance and fire to their stagnant look, and revived their fortunes tenfold. Ford's Midas touch had the same effect on Saint Laurent, but in 2004, he parted ways with both companies to strike out on his own. His reputation naturally made his own label a success, but few could have predicted that he would make a stellar debut as a director with "A Single Man" (2009). The favorable response from critics and film festivals seemed to indicate that fashion was not the only art form that Ford would master.