Tom Ford has lost his lifelong partner.
The designer's husband, fashion journalist Richard Buckley, died on Sunday, Sept. 19 "of natural causes after a prolonged illness," Ford's rep confirmed in a statement. He was 72.
"It is with great sadness that Tom Ford announces the death of his beloved husband of 35 years, Richard Buckley," the statement read. "Richard passed away peacefully at their home in Los Angeles with Tom and their son Jack by his side."
Their love story was one that began after the two met at a mutual friend's fashion show in 1986. In fact, in the span of an elevator ride, the style icon realized he had found his other half. "By the time that elevator landed on the ground floor,' he recalled to People, "I thought, 'You're the one.' That's it. Click. Sold."
"It was literally love at first sight," Ford said. As the designer put it, there was something in Buckley's eyes "that just said 'literally the rest of your life.'" Within a month, the couple was living together and, come September 2012, their family grew with the birth of their son Alexander John Buckley Ford. Two years later, the Nocturnal Animals director revealed they had wed.
Amid news of Buckley's death, the couple's friends and colleagues have taken to social media to pay tribute to the late journalist.
"We have lost such a beautiful and special soul, a gentleman of the greatest kind, Richard Buckley," stylist Rachel Zoe wrote on Instagram. "To know him was an honor, to have had deep meaningful conversations with Richard was a gift I will hold tight forever. He was brilliant, witty and unapologetically honest, but most extraordinary was his true love and dedication to Tom and his son Jack. I will miss you so very much Richard. May you Rest In Peace and with the angels friend."
Makeup artist Kristofer Buckle commented, "He was such a wonderful and interesting person….I am so sorry for Tom."
Naomi Watts added, "So so sad. The most beautiful version of elegance… always."