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For years, the name Tom Ford has been associated with fashion: He was, after all, the man credited with reviving the almost bankrupt Gucci empire, and then he started a couture label of his own.
Ford has also earned plenty of attention for his provocative advertising, which often uses erotic imagery (including plenty of nudity) to sell fashion and fragrances.
Now the Texas native, a onetime actor and model himself, has put his eye for design and his creative sensibilities to work in the service of silver-screen storytelling, translating a '60s-vintage novel into an elegantly controlled, eloquently stylish film called A Single Man. (See and hear Bob Mondello's review.)
Based on the book by Christopher Isherwood, it stars British actor Colin Firth as a gay literature professor in 1962 Los Angeles, struggling to come to terms with the death of his lover in a society that still insists on the invisibility — the impossibility — of their relationship.
Tom Ford joins Fresh Air host Terry Gross to talk about his rise from minor designer to fashion titan, and about his new venture into filmmaking.