Guillaume Jesel Named President & CEO Of Tom Ford, While Peter Hawkings Has been Appointed As Creative Director
LAST SUMMER, WE REPORTED THAT TOM FORD WAS EXPLORING A POTENTIAL SALE, AND IN NOVEMBER OF 2022, WE CONFIRMED THAT THE AMERICAN BRAND WAS ACQUIRED BY THE ESTEE LAUDER COS. NOW THE COMPANY IS MOVING IN A DIRECTION, WITH SOME NEW HIRES.
NEW YORK, UNITED STATES — Tom Ford‘s new owner, the Estée Lauder Cos.’ just announced two new high-level hires and another starting in July 2023.
As it completed its acquisition of Tom Ford last Friday (April 28) and just days after the iconic designer released his final women’s collection, Estée Lauder Cos. has named Guillaume Jesel president and chief executive officer of the storied American brand, while Peter Hawkings has been appointed as creative director.
The Ermenegildo Zegna Group, which holds the fashion license as part of Estée Lauder’s deal — which valued the brand at $2.8 billion — has appointed a CEO of Tom Ford Fashion, who is expected to be revealed in July and assume the role in the third quarter. This role will be responsible for the collections, merchandising and production, as well as retail and wholesale distribution.
Tom Ford and Domenico De Sole will continue to serve as brand advisers through the end of the year. Instead of fashion, Ford plans to concentrate on film projects in development via his production company Fade to Black, according to a representative.
Of the new leadership appointments, Ford said, “Guillaume is an exceptional leader, with not only a strong business understanding of beauty, but a great understanding of fashion as well.”
He called Hawkings, his longtime collaborator, the ideal creative director. “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,” he continued. “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.”
As president and CEO of Tom Ford, Jesel, who has led Tom Ford Beauty since 2014 and was promoted to president of Tom Ford Beauty and Balmain Beauty in September, will have oversight across all verticals, reporting to Lauder executive leaders Jane Hertzmark Hudis, executive group president, and Tracey T. Travis, executive vice president and chief financial officer.
Jesel has helped build Tom Ford Beauty, for which Lauder has held the license since around 2005, into a major brand that is expected to achieve $1 billion in net sales annually over the next couple of years, with analysts expecting that it will soon expand into skin care and new markets.
Prior to leading Tom Ford Beauty, Jesel spent a decade with MAC Cosmetics and also served in a number of other senior roles since joining Estée Lauder in 2000, including vice president of global makeup marketing.
“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 CEO of the Estée Lauder Cos.
As for Hawkings, most recently senior vice president of Tom Ford menswear, his responsibilities will include oversight of womenswear, menswear and accessory categories, assuming the role of lead designer for the fashion segment and fashion shows. He will report directly to Jesel and to the CEO of Tom Ford Fashion when that person joins.
Hawkings began his career in 1998 at Gucci under the helm of Tom Ford and worked closely with him on the development of the Gucci menswear collections. He left Gucci in 2006 to join Tom Ford in the launch of his eponymous brand, where he oversaw the design and production of menswear.
“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 Jesel. “There is no one more perfectly suited than Peter to carry the founder’s legendary creative vision into the future.”
Of the yet-to-be-announced Tom Ford Fashion head, Ermenegildo 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.”
As part of the deal, Marcolin SpA has entered long-term license agreements for Tom Ford eyewear.
The Estée Lauder Cos. paid about $2.25 billion for Tom Ford, outbidding Gucci owner Kering and marking the beauty giant’s first venture into the fashion world and its biggest deal ever. The deal was funded by cash on hand and proceeds from the issuance of commercial paper, as well as $250 million received from Marcolin. An additional aggregate amount of $300 million in deferred payments from Estée Lauder to the sellers becomes due beginning in July 2025.
Photos Credit: Alessandro Lucioni / Gorunway.com