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How Tom Ford’s relationship with the love of his life Richard Buckley withstood the test of time

American fashion designer and filmmaker Tom Ford, 60, has attributed 35-year relationship with journalist Richard Buckley, 72, to true love and respect.

Ford, who secretly married Buckley in 2014 after 28 years of dating, says he knew the journalist was ‘the one’ from the moment they met.

‘I went to a fashion show and this silver-haired guy was staring at me with these piercing water-blue eyes. It scared me because I absolutely saw and knew my entire future,’ Ford recalled in a 2016 interview ahead of their 30-year-anniversary, MSN reports.

‘About 10 days later, someone asked if [Buckley] was seeing anyone. He said, ‘No, there was this guy I had seen at a fashion show,’ and at that moment, the elevator door opened and there I was. Richard jumps in the elevator and he’s practically tap dancing.’

American fashion designer and filmmaker Tom Ford attributes his long-lasting romance with journalist Richard Buckley (pictured together in 2017) to true love and respect

35 years strong: Ford originally met Buckley in 1986 at a New York fashion show and they wed in 2014 shortly after same-sex marriage was legalized in the States (pictured in 1997)

35 years strong: Ford originally met Buckley in 1986 at a New York fashion show and they wed in 2014 shortly after same-sex marriage was legalized in the States (pictured in 1997)

‘I remember just sort of standing back and looking him up and down – taking him in – and by the time that elevator landed on the ground floor I was like, ‘You’re the one; that’s it; Click! Sold.”

Ford said the couple shared an instant connection in the elevator and it was ‘literally love at first sight.’ 

He continued: ‘We had three dates. We were living together four weeks later. He gave me the keys to his apartment, and we have lived together ever since.’

The couple wed in a secret ceremony in 2014, shortly after same-sex marriage was legalized in the U.S. 

‘I know that was just made legal in the UK, which is great. We were married in the States,’ Ford told MailOnline at the time, giving no further details as to the where and when the wedding occurred.  

Ford, whose net worth is half billion dollars, is one of the fashion industry's most celebrated designers (Pictured: Richard Buckley, honoree Tom Ford and honorary co-chair Rita Wilson attend WCRF's An Unforgettable Evening in 2017)

Ford, whose net worth is half billion dollars, is one of the fashion industry’s most celebrated designers (Pictured: Richard Buckley, honoree Tom Ford and honorary co-chair Rita Wilson attend WCRF’s An Unforgettable Evening in 2017)

Richard Buckley (L) and Erin O'Connor attend a charity dinner on February 3, 2015 in London

Richard Buckley, Tom Ford, Erin O'Connor and Philip Treacy attend the Glamour of Italian Fashion 1945-2014 VIP dinner in London on April 1, 2014

The couple was respected across multiple industries (Pictured: Left – Richard Buckley (L) and Erin O’Connor attend a charity dinner on February 3, 2015 in London; Right – Richard Buckley, Tom Ford, Erin O’Connor and Philip Treacy attend the Glamour of Italian Fashion 1945-2014 VIP dinner in London on April 1, 2014)

How Tom Ford has built an empire worth $500M through fashion designing and film-making 

Tom Ford, who is credited with turning Gucci into a billion dollar brand, has excelled in both the fashion and film industries, creating an empire that’s worth $500million.

Ford, who attended university in New York, quickly became interested in fashion and took  time off of school to work at the Chloé press office in Paris.

After graduation, he was hired by American sportswear designer Cathy Hardwick, before moving to Perry Ellis and Europe. 

The Texas-native became the creator director at Gucci in 1994 – a time when the brand was nearly bankrupt and considered ‘unfashionable.’ 

He is credited with bringing ‘sexiness and glamour’ to Gucci, building the company into a brand that is now worth billions of dollars.

He left the company in 2004, citing creative differences with management. 

Following his departure from Gucci, Ford settled in Los Angeles and directed and produced his first film, A Single Man – which garnered an Oscar Academy nomination, Golden Globe nomination and won several awards worldwide.

 In 2006, he returned to fashion, launching his own label – Tom Ford Beauty. He started with cosmetics and menswear before growing the brand to include womenswear, which has become his signature and trademark.

He also maintained a presence in the film world, writing and directing ‘Nocturnal Animals’ in 2016. The film was critically acclaimed, winning multiple awards and receiving both Golden Globe and Oscars nominations. 

In March 2019, he became chairman of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), succeeding Diane von Furstenberg, who had previously held the position for 13 years. 

He married journalist Richard Buckley in 2014 after the two dated and lived together for 27 years.

The pair share a son, born in Sept. 2012 via surrogacy, called Jack.

They elected designer Stella McCartney to serve as the boy’s godmother.  

They welcomed their son, Alexander John ‘Jack’ Buckley Ford, who is turning 9 on Thursday, into their lives in 2012. He was born via a surrogate.

Jack’s life has remained out of the public eye – something Ford swore he would strive for before he even knew he was having a child.

‘If I have a child, you won’t notice that I had a child. Maybe you’ll see it when it’s 18, but I will keep it out of the spotlight,’ he told Marie Claire in 2011.

‘And no one will ever see the child because I certainly wouldn’t use it as a press tool.’ 

They most recently lived in Los Angeles and have also shared residences in London, Richard’s native New York and Tom’s Santa Fe hometown. 

Ford has previously shared that he and Buckley had such a successful relationship because they had a bond built on mutual respect and trust. 

‘If the person you’re with is someone you respect, who you believe has a great heart and a great soul, as good a heart and soul that you will ever find, don’t ever leave them, because you won’t find anyone better,’ he told Entertainment Weekly in 2016.

Ford, whose net worth is half billion dollars, is one of the fashion industry’s most celebrated designers.

The Texas-native became the creator director at Gucci in 1994 – a time when the brand was nearly bankrupt and considered ‘unfashionable,’ according to Business of Fashion 500. 

He is credited with bringing ‘sexiness and glamour’ to Gucci, building the company into a brand that is now worth billions of dollars.

He left the company in 2004, citing creative differences with management. 

‘I never thought I would leave Gucci,’ he told Entertainment Weekly when questioned about his departure. 

‘As a fashion designer I was very satisfied, because I was free to create what I felt was right. It was quite devastating.’

Following his departure from Gucci, Ford settled in Los Angeles and directed and produced his first film, A Single Man – which garnered an Oscar Academy nomination, Golden Globe nomination and won several awards worldwide.

He shared that he had planned to retire from the fashion world permanently but experienced a void in his life.

‘I wasn’t prepared for what it felt like when you had such a crowded calendar and life and your identity is kind of wiped away,’ Ford said.

‘I had blank pages on my calendar. It took me much longer to find a film project that spoke to me.’ 

Ford returned to the fashion industry in 2006, launching his own label, Tom Ford Beauty. He started with cosmetics and menswear before growing the brand to include womenswear, which has become his signature and trademark.

He also maintained a presence in the film world, writing and directing ‘Nocturnal Animals’ in 2016. The film was critically acclaimed, winning multiple awards and receiving both Golden Globe and Oscars nominations. 

In March 2019, he became chairman of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), succeeding Diane von Furstenberg, who had previously held the position for 13 years. 

Tom Ford and Richard Buckley attend the premiere of 'Nocturnal Animals' during the 73rd Venice Film Festival at Sala Grande on September 2, 2016 in Venice

Tom Ford and Richard Buckley attend the premiere of ‘Nocturnal Animals’ during the 73rd Venice Film Festival at Sala Grande on September 2, 2016 in Venice

Fashion designer Tom Ford and partner journalist Richard Buckley at the book launch party for 'Tom Ford: Ten Years' at Bergdorf Goodman on October 20, 2004 in New York City

Fashion designer Tom Ford and partner journalist Richard Buckley at the book launch party for ‘Tom Ford: Ten Years’ at Bergdorf Goodman on October 20, 2004 in New York City

Ford and Buckley attend the Vanity Fair party at the 78th Academy Awards in Los Angeles on March 5, 2006

Ford and Buckley attend the Vanity Fair party at the 78th Academy Awards in Los Angeles on March 5, 2006

Buckley passed away of natural causes on Sunday night after battling prolonged illness. 

Ford announced his death in a statement reading: ‘It is with great sadness that Tom Ford announces the death of his beloved husband of 35 years, Richard Buckley.

‘Richard passed away peacefully at their home in Los Angeles last night with Tom and their son Jack by his side. He died of natural causes after a long illness.’ 

Specific details surrounding Buckley’s death have not yet been released. 

However, it is known that the journalist has faced multiple health battles. In 1989, just three years after the couple met, Buckley was diagnosed with throat cancer and underwent surgery. 

Despite being told it could be fatal, he pulled through and the pair shared a love-filled life together for over three decades.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk