Estée Lauder Companies Acquires Tom Ford; Names Guillaume Jesel, President & CEO
The TOM FORD brand – now owned by The Estée Lauder Companies Inc., announced the appointments of Guillaume Jesel to President and CEO, TOM FORD, and Peter Hawkings to Creative Director, TOM FORD, effective at the closing of the acquisition. Ermenegildo Zegna N.V. has appointed a CEO of TOM FORD FASHION who is expected to be announced in July and assume the role in the third quarter of calendar 2023. These leaders will work together to ensure a consistent and cohesive image across all products, brand communication and retail.
The Estée Lauder Companies acquired the TOM FORD brand on Friday, April 28th, 2023, in a transformational deal that establishes the company as the sole owner of the TOM FORD brand and all its intellectual property. The stewardship of the brand by ELC and the new leaders announced, and through its licenses with the Zegna Group for fashion and accessories, and Marcolin Group for eyewear, provides continuity and allows for the further evolution of the TOM FORD brand as one of the preeminent global luxury brands of the twenty-first century. The Zegna Group acquired operations of the TOM FORD fashion business (“TOM FORD FASHION”) necessary to perform its obligations as a licensee of ELC.
Tom Ford and Domenico De Sole will continue to serve as brand advisors through the end of calendar 2023. About the new leadership appointments, Tom Ford said, “I could not be happier with the acquisition of the TOM FORD brand by The Estée Lauder Companies. The team there has been a great partner and Guillaume is an exceptional leader, with not only a strong business understanding of beauty, but a great understanding of fashion as well.
“I am also pleased that the Zegna Group will continue to manufacture and distribute TOM FORD fashion and accessories, and operate retail for TOM FORD FASHION. I have worked closely with Zegna for more than 30 years, first at Gucci, then at Yves Saint Laurent. When contemplating the creation of the TOM FORD brand there was simply no other partner that we would have turned to, to produce high quality fashion products and a flawless retail experience.
“Marcolin has been an excellent partner in producing and distributing TF eyewear since the inception of the brand and I have enjoyed close collaboration with Maurizio Marcolin and his talented team for many years now.
“These companies, under the brand stewardship of The Estée Lauder Companies, provide me with confidence that the TOM FORD brand will continue to be something that I will be proud of for many years to come.”
Domenico De Sole said, “I am delighted with this acquisition. We have had a long-standing partnership between the TOM FORD brand and The Estée Lauder Companies dating from the brand’s inception, as well as a close relationship with Gildo Zegna and the Zegna Group over the past 30 years. Given our long and successful histories together, I am certain that the two companies, together, will carry on the legacy that Tom and I have built over the past 18 years. I am grateful to Tom for his magnificent vision and leadership, and I thank our amazingly talented TOM FORD team for their dedication to and hard work for the brand.”
GUILLAUME JESEL NAMED PRESIDENT AND CEO, TOM FORD AND LUXURY BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT, THE ESTÉE LAUDER COMPANIES
Guillaume Jesel brings nearly a decade of successful brand leadership of TOM FORD BEAUTY to his new executive leadership position at the TOM FORD brand. As President and CEO of TOM FORD, Guillaume will have oversight across all verticals and set a holistic luxury strategy for the brand. Guillaume will report to ELC executive leaders Jane Hertzmark Hudis, Executive Group President, and Tracey T. Travis, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.
“Guillaume has been instrumental in shaping the luxury beauty sector of our business. His ability to articulate the TOM FORD brand has resulted in TOM FORD BEAUTY achieving remarkable global success, making him ideally suited to lead the TOM FORD brand into its exciting future,” said Fabrizio Freda, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Estée Lauder Companies.
Under Guillaume’s tenured leadership at TOM FORD BEAUTY, where he worked directly with Tom Ford and his team, the brand spearheaded iconic innovation and strategically expanded its global reach, firmly establishing TOM FORD BEAUTY as a powerhouse in luxury beauty. Since 2014 when Guillaume started with TOM FORD BEAUTY, he has led the brand to achieve strong net sales growth on a compound annual basis and significantly improved ranking in global prestige fragrance and makeup, respectively.
PETER HAWKINGS APPOINTED CREATIVE DIRECTOR, TOM FORD
Peter Hawkings has been working alongside Tom Ford for nearly twenty-five years, most recently as Senior Vice President of TOM FORD Menswear. In his ascension to Creative Director, Peter will succeed Tom Ford with respect to his responsibilities as Creative Director of Fashion, including womenswear, menswear and accessory categories, assuming the role of lead designer for the fashion segment and fashion shows.
Peter will be responsible for upholding the TOM FORD brand’s vision, ensuring consistency of creative direction and decisions across all fashion categories and ushering the TOM FORD brand into its next chapter. He will report directly to Guillaume and matrix report to the CEO of TOM FORD FASHION.
“In Peter Hawkings the brand has found the perfect Creative Director,” said Tom Ford. “Peter began working with me 25 years ago as a menswear design assistant at Gucci and rapidly worked his way up to become the senior men’s designer at the company when he left to join me at the TOM FORD brand. Since the creation of TOM FORD menswear, Peter has been instrumental in the success of the brand. He is an incredibly talented leader with tremendous industry experience, and his appointment gives me confidence that my commitment to creating fashion products with the highest level of design and quality will continue.”
Peter began his career in 1998 at Gucci under the helm of Tom Ford and worked closely with him on the development of the highly successful Gucci menswear collections. Peter left Gucci in 2006 to join Tom Ford in the launch of his eponymous brand where he was charged with overseeing the design and production of all categories of TOM FORD menswear including tailoring, sportswear, leather goods, and accessories.
“Peter is one of the world’s most accomplished menswear designers. His design experience working under Tom Ford is unparalleled and his commitment to quality is relentless,” said Guillaume. “There is no one more perfectly suited than Peter to carry the founder’s legendary creative vision into the future.”
TOM FORD FASHION LEADERSHIP
The CEO of TOM FORD FASHION has been appointed and is expected to be announced in July and assume the role in the third quarter of calendar 2023. The leader will be responsible for the end-to-end TOM FORD FASHION business from collection development, to merchandising, through to production as well as retail and wholesale distribution.
Ermenegildo “Gildo” Zegna, CEO of Ermenegildo Zegna Group said, “We are delighted to appoint a strong leader for TOM FORD FASHION and look forward to leveraging the leader’s luxury business acumen and international experience to further grow the TOM FORD FASHION business globally. I am thrilled about the opportunities that this transaction brings to all of us as we continue the journey started by Tom and Domenico whom we congratulate for their remarkable achievements.”