Tom Ford Details "Very Hard" Experience Becoming Single Parent After Husband Richard Buckley's Death

Less than three months after his husband Richard Buckley's passing, Tom Ford opened up about the "very hard" transition to life without him and adapting to single parenthood.

By Emlyn Travis Dec 02, 2021 5:50 PMTags
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Renowned fashion designer and filmmaker Tom Ford is sharing a glimpse into his life after the passing of his husband.  

Ford's husband, fashion journalist and editor Richard Buckley, died on Sept. 19 "of natural causes after a prolonged illness," Ford's rep confirmed in a statement. He was 72.  

Less than three months after his passing, Ford, 60, opened up in an interview with WSJ Magazine about how he's been adjusting to life after losing his partner of 35 years.

"It's been hard after 35 years, very hard," he told the outlet. "I keep thinking, 'Oh, God, I have to call Richard,' or I need to send him a note about this. And he's not here." 

The loss has required Ford to take on some new responsibilities now that he's become the primary caretaker of their 9-year-old son, Jack, some of which he believes that he's "gotten pretty good at."

That includes an updated morning routine for both father and son.

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"Until recently, I had Richard to help me out in the mornings. It's been a little bit of a struggle the last month because he would normally get [Jack's] breakfast on school days while I was getting dressed," he explained. "But it's a challenge to get him up, dressed, get his lunch made, get his lunch packed, get his breakfast done, get all my things done, and then I drive him to school at 7:45." 

Despite all the new tasks each morning, Ford has been able to find a silver lining, adding, "But it also means I'm at my office by 8:10, so I get a good start to the day." 

Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Hammer Museum

Ford and Buckley met at a "mutual friend's fashion show," where Ford "vividly" remembers there was an instant spark between them. "Our eyes locked," he told People in 2017, "and within a month we were living together."

"We were in an elevator after we had just met and we went down about ten floors, and Richard was just kind of batting his eyes and talking a lot, and I remember just sort of standing back and looking him up and down," he said. "I was taking him in. By the time that elevator landed on the ground floor, I thought, ‘you're the one. That's it. Click. Sold.'" 

At the time, he couldn't exactly pinpoint what drew him to Buckley. "I don't know! It was literally one of those things," he revealed. "It was love at first sight." 

In a posthumous article for Air Mail's 'The Better Half' column, Buckley wrote about Ford's talent and ambition as a designer, which he saw in action on their very first date.

"On our first date, in November of 1986, Tom told me, ‘In 10 years I will be a millionaire and showing my collections in Europe,'" he wrote. "As I already had six years of fashion-industry experience under my belt, I sat there thinking, ‘Poor thing. He will become so disillusioned when the system chews him up and spits him out.'"  

"That time, like so many others over the years, he would prove me wrong," Buckley added, "he achieved his goal in nine years."