- Estée Lauder Companies completed its purchase Friday of the Tom Ford brand, making it the largest deal for the beauty company and its first fashion acquisition.
- Guillaume Jesel has been appointed president and CEO of Tom Ford, and Peter Hawkings was named the creative director.
- The deal included a continuation of the Ermenegildo Zegna license for Tom Ford menswear, which the company has held since 2006, and expanded the Zegna agreement to include all Tom Ford fashion, accessories, underwear, fine jewelry, childrenswear, textile and home design products.
ELC, which outbid rival Kering in November, completed its purchase of the Tom Ford brand funded by cash on hand, proceeds from the issuance of commercial paper, as well as $250 million received from eyewear licensee Marcolin. Through the deal, ELC will become the sole owner of the Tom Ford brand, its trademarks and other intellectual property rights.
Jesel has led Tom Ford Beauty since 2014, and previously worked with MAC cosmetics and other Estée Lauder brands since starting with the company in 2000. In his new role, he reports to ELC Jane Hertzmark Hudis, executive group president, and Tracey Travis, executive vice president and CFO. Jesel will have oversight across all verticals and set a holistic luxury strategy for the brand.
Hawkings, the brand’s new creative director, is a long-time collaborator of Tom Ford’s, and started with Ford at Gucci in 1998. He later helped launch the Tom Ford brand and oversaw the menswear division.
Tom Ford and former Gucci head Domenico De Sole, who co-launched the Tom Ford brand in 2005, will continue to serve as brand advisers through the end of the year.
Zegna has appointed a CEO of Tom Ford Fashion, and is expected to announce the name in July. The new executive will assume the role in the third quarter of 2023, and will oversee the Tom Ford Fashion component.
Before the transaction closed, Zegna owned a 15% stake in Tom Ford International. With this transaction, it acquired the remaining 85%. Zegna has been expanding its fashion business for several years now, starting in 2018 when it acquired a majority stake in Thom Browne and continuing in 2021 when it joined Prada to buy control of of cashmere manufacturing company Filati Biagioli Modesto. Also in 2021, Zegna became the first Italian luxury brand to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange. This spring, the company reported 2022 revenue was up 15.5% year over year.
Zegna Group will be in charge of the end-to-end Tom Ford Fashion business, from collection creation and development to merchandising through to production, and including retail and wholesale distribution. ELC will manage the overall brand strategy, and continue to manage its fragrance, cosmetics and skin care products, for which Estée Lauder has had a longstanding licensing agreement.
Marcolin Group, the eyewear licensee since 2005, will continue that license under a long-term arrangement.
Ford himself showed his final collection last week, comprised of archival pieces from his career and released as a film shot by Steven Klein. He told WWD through a representative that his next move would likely be to focus on his own film projects through his production company Fade to Black.