Tom Ford has been a giant in the fashion and perfume industry since he burst onto the scene with at the turn of the century. His suave and witty style paired with provocative advertising caught the attention of many eyes. He was even the clothing line of choice for Daniel Craig in the James Bond films that he played in. It’s without question that Tom Ford is almost a household name at this point, especially to us fragrance aficionados.
In the past year or so, there have been rumors of Estee Lauder wanting to purchase the luxury brand. This week, we found out it was true as Estee Lauder agreed to purchase the brand for $2.8 billion. It was confirmed by Tom Ford himself and posted in Forbes.
Estee Lauder has been stepping into the luxury fragrance game into the last 10 years or so, purchasing such brands as Kilian, Le Labo, and Frederic Malle. However, Estee Lauder was already producing the fragrances for Mr. Ford. This deal includes his clothing line as well, which as far as I can tell, is the brand’s first foray into that industry, even though the Italian powerhouse Zegna will be producing the clothing, and that is not subject to change.
According to Forbes, Tom Ford Beauty grew by 25% in the last quarter and has been steadily growing since the pandemic. Fragrance sales are one of the industries that actually saw growth during this time period instead of stagnation. I guess that is no secret to us fragrance lovers, as fragrances helped us keep our solace during those trying times. Other people must have caught on as well.
Tom Ford will stay on with the brand until the end of 2023, but what happens after that remains to be seen. It’s hard to imagine a world without Tom Ford fragrances with sex-driven marketing and provocative names. What does the future hold for the brand? Will we see more releases like the infamous Oud Wood and Tobacco Vanille? Will Estee Lauder follow in his footsteps of somewhat mediocre releases as of late, such as Rose Prick and Lost Cherry? Sure, they both have their fanbases, but they didn’t nearly reach the heights of his earlier releases.
Will they continue a trend of turning Private Blends into the Signature line to make it more accessible to everyone? I am not one to jump on the reformulation bandwagon, so I won’t even go there, but there is a possibility of it, even if I don’t think it’s likely. What do you think?
Much remains to be seen about this deal, but it appears as if Estee Lauder wants to keep everything the same right now, which is understandable given the growth that Tom Ford Beauty has enjoyed. Why fix what isn’t broken? However, that doesn’t mean that they don’t have lofty goals for the brand in the future. If it’s any encouragement, Kilian and Frederic Malle didn’t change a whole lot when they were acquired either, so that might be a good sign.