Richard Buckley, fashion journalist and husband of designer Tom Ford, dies at 72
Richard Buckley, the fashion journalist, and husband of designer Tom Ford dies at 72.
Ford’s business announced Tuesday that Richard Buckley, a fashion journalist and the spouse of designer and director Tom Ford, has died. He was 72 years old at the time.
“Tom Ford announces the loss of his loving spouse of 35 years, Richard Buckley, with profound sorrow. “Richard died peacefully at their Los Angeles home on Sunday night, surrounded by Tom and their son Jack,” a Ford spokesperson said in a statement.
After a lengthy illness, the fashion journalist died of natural causes.
Buckley, the former editor in chief of Vogue Hommes International, and Ford, 60, met in an elevator at a fashion event in 1986 when the native Texan was 25 and the New Yorker was 38.
Buckley began his career at New York magazine in 1979 and went on to work for Women’s Wear Daily, Vanity Fair, and Mirabella until being chosen to lead Vogue Hommes in 1999.
“Our eyes connected, and within a month, we were living together,” Ford claimed of meeting Buckley on the Jess Cagle Interview program, according to People. “Since then, we’ve been together.”
“By the time the elevator arrived on the bottom level, I knew you were the one,” Ford said. That is all there is to it. Click. Sold. “It was love at first sight,” says the narrator.
Alexander John Buckley Ford, the couple’s son, was delivered through a surrogate in September 2012.
Buckley and his family had relocated to Los Angeles in recent years after Ford purchased the late heiress Betsy Bloomingdale’s house in 2016, but they allegedly maintained their London home.
In April 2014, the designer revealed that he and Buckley had married in the United States. A Supreme Court decision 14 months later would make same-sex marriage lawful in all 50 states.
Buckley told the New York Times in 2019 that Ford had sewn him turtleneck wool dickeys with keyhole slots for his tracheotomy tube and a black silk scarf with slits to wear at formal events, “from throat cancer to my brother and mother dying 48 hours apart, to more bouts of pneumonia than I can count.”
In 2011, Ford published an article for Out magazine’s “Love Issue” on their relationship.
“One of the things that always amuses me — ‘amuses’ isn’t the right word, because it doesn’t amuse me
but often,” Ford wrote in the essay, “is when I’m at dinner parties with very close friends, straight, and they realize Richard and I have been together 24 years,
and the response is often, ‘Wow, you guys have been together 24 years!’ That’s incredible. I’m not aware of any homosexual guys that have been together for that long.’ And I’m thinking to myself, ‘Why?’ ‘What exactly are you on about?’ Same-sex couples have some of the longest relationships I’m aware of.”
“Richard and I are linked together,” he said, “and I believe that’s what recognition is when you see someone in the eyes and feel like you’ve known them forever.” It’s like returning home.”
People in the fashion business and others with connections to Los Angeles had shared personal tales about Buckley and expressed their condolences on social media by Tuesday morning. Buckley was characterized by friends as a guy who was renowned for his curiosity, compassion, humor, and flair.
Cameron Silver, the owner of the antique shop Decades on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles, expressed his sympathies on Instagram, writing about how he met Buckley soon after Decades opened in 1997.
Silver said, “He bought a neon and black swirl ’60s outfit on eyelash fabric.” “Richard interrogated me extensively and was genuinely interested in why I had established a vintage clothes shop.
Tom Ford came in a few days later, followed by Lisa Eisner.
Richard had informed them about this new vintage shop on Melrose Avenue and the youngish man who had opened it, they all said.
Richard would frequently take me to Paris to hunt for vintage or go to flea markets throughout the following several years.”
Buckley’s inquisitive attitude, as well as his impeccable design preferences, were also mentioned by Silver.
He said, “I recall asking Richard about Jacques Adnet’s furniture
and a desk I’d seen as I was naïve to the importance of the design.”
“Richard replied, ‘Buy it,’ and the desk is currently in Decades’ upstairs dressing room.”
Rachel Zoe, a fashion designer, also expressed her sympathies on Instagram, with a picture of Ford kissing Buckley on the cheek.
“We have lost such a lovely and unique person, Richard Buckley, a gentleman of the highest kind,” Zoe wrote. “To have known him was an honor, and to have had deep,
meaningful discussions with him was a gift I will cherish for the rest of my life.
He was bright, funny, unashamedly honest, and very elegant.
Richard’s genuine love and devotion to Tom, as well as his role as a father to his son Jack, was truly remarkable.
Richard, you will be sorely missed. Friend, may you rest in peace and be among the angels.”
“A love like this rest easy beautiful elegant friend #RichardBuckley,” wrote costume designer Arianne Phillips,
who worked with Ford on his two feature films, “A Single Man” (2009), his directorial debut,
and “Nocturnal Animals” (2016): “a love like this rest easy beautiful elegant friend #RichardBuckley”
Buckley was characterized as a class act “in the old school manner” by designer Zac Posen in an Instagram post. He had a sharp eye, a great sense of humor, and was very intelligent.
Posen said, “He was Tom’s most loving and supporting spouse.” “It was such a lovely sight to see.
When I saw Richard and Tom during the last 20 years, I always felt a tremendous feeling of relief.
He adored and admired true opulence, elegance, and refinement.
He was always interested in hearing about my work, personal life, and, of course, who I would be dressing for the Oscars.
His candor, foresight, and concern were really exceptional.
Richard will be much missed. Tom and his family have my heartfelt condolences.”
Glynis Costin, the West Coast bureau head of Instyle magazine, posted a picture of herself, Ford, and Buckley in Milan, Italy, from the early 1990s on Instagram.
She commented, “I am saddened that the world has lost the great Richard Buckley.”
“With a quick wit and keen sense of humor, he was a gentleman and a scholar.
He was a wonderful all-around person, as well as a kind and devoted friend.
I treasure our more than 30-year relationship, and my heart breaks for Tom and Jack.
We know your [mischievous] blue eyes are still sparkling somewhere, Richard, and your spirit will always be with us.”