Tom Ford lost his virginity at 14 and describes himself as “pathologically shy,” yet neither fact is the most surprising revelation in Out magazine’s February cover story.
The designer and his partner Richard Buckley each tell the story of how they met and describe what’s kept them together for 24 years — ultimately revealing what a tender, thoughtful relationship the two share. Ford himself admits the reality seems surprising considering the public image he’s created. But if you doubt that the king of fashion sex appeal is a softie at heart, read this:
I think that preconception, from even very educated liberal friends, that being gay is possibly more sex-based than emotionally based, is surprising and shocking in today’s world. I’m someone who likes being part of a couple and always wanted that and always sought that, and it would probably be true for me whether I was gay or straight. Richard and I are bound together, and I think that’s what that recognition is when you look someone in the eyes and you feel like you’ve known them forever. It is a kind of coming home.
More images from the issue and an excerpt from Buckley’s interview after the jump.
For our first date, we went to this really sleazy cheapo restaurant on the Upper East Side called Albuquerque Eats–I don’t think it exists anymore. Tom sat there chit-chatting: “And in 10 years I’m going to be showing my own collection in Paris, and I’m going to be a millionaire, and I’m going to do this, and I’m going to do that.” And I kept thinking, This guy is really naïve. But as we talked about other things, it was almost like seeing down a rabbit hole. I felt like I was looking at his eyes, and it was just spinning around and taking me down inside him. I could see he was a good man with a big heart. It wasn’t a physical thing as much as it was a psychic wave.