Tom Ford announced today the promotion of Brian Blake to President and Chief Operating Officer of TOM FORD INTERNATIONAL. He will report directly to Tom Ford, Chief Executive Officer. His appointment is effective immediately. In addition to his role as President, Blake will assume the responsibilities of Tom Mendenhall who has left his position as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer to pursue other opportunities.
Most recently Blake has held the position of Chief Executive Officer of Distribution and Manufacturing within the company. In his newly expanded role, Brian will oversee all business activities and operations for TOM FORD INTERNATIONAL.
Blake, a 40-year veteran of the fashion industry, has extensive experience in the luxury sector. Prior to joining TOM FORD INTERNATIONAL, Blake served as President and CEO of Gucci Worldwide, COO and Commercial Director Worldwide for Prada and Miu Miu and President and COO Worldwide for Burberry.
Tom Ford commented: “I have known and worked with Brian Blake for the past 27 years since we began our working relationship and friendship at Gucci in 1990. We have grown and developed together over that time and most recently worked closely together at TOM FORD INTERNATIONAL. Brian is a rare creature in our industry as he is highly analytical and practical yet also has tremendous people skills and is a proven leader. He has made many great contributions to TOM FORD INTERNATIONAL and I look forward to a new chapter in our growth and development with Brian at my side.”
Blake commented: “Since I joined TOM FORD INTERNATIONAL, I have had the privilege of working alongside an outstanding team of talented individuals who have significantly contributed to the growth of our company. I am honored to be part of this exceptional organization and look forward to working closely with Tom Ford as we continue to build our business and reputation as the world’s leading luxury brand.”
Tom Ford announced the creation of the TOM FORD brand in April 2005 and was joined in this venture by former Gucci Group President and Chief Executive Officer Domenico De Sole, who serves as Chairman of the company. In that same year, Ford announced his partnership with Marcolin Group to produce and distribute optical frames and sunglasses, as well as an alliance with Esteé Lauder to create the TOM FORD Beauty brand. In April 2007, his first directly owned flagship store opened in New York at 845 Madison Avenue and coincided with the debut of the TOM FORD Menswear and Accessory collection. In September 2010, during an intimate presentation at his Madison Avenue flagship, Ford presented his much-anticipated Womenswear collection. Presently, there are 124 freestanding TOM FORD stores and shop-in-shops in locations such as New York, Toronto, Beverly Hills, Zurich, Milan, Puerto Banus, Moscow, Osaka, Atlanta, Las Vegas, Baku, Dubai, Tokyo, Seoul, Montreal, San Francisco, Beirut, Hong Kong, Shanghai, New Delhi, Rome, London, Munich, Beijing, and Sydney.