Tom Ford Speaks on How His Life Has Changed After Gucci Departure

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Tom Ford has opened up on departing the Gucci Group as creative director 10 years ago. The designer has since launched his own namesake womenswear line but says that at the time, he felt that it was a big loss for him. He reveals that he struggled initially to find his footing after exiting the label: ''After leaving Gucci Group, there was a dramatic sense of loss and of not being worthy, so rebuilding my life professionally and personally was an enormous struggle. I've probably not cut myself any slack. And that's still going on.''

Look back on his time now, Tom says that his progression following his departure amazes him because so much has happened in ten years, and he is very happy with how it has turned out:  ''It was ten years in April since I left Gucci, five years today since I quit drinking, and this award has made me think the last ten years have actually been quite amazing, even if they didn't seem so because I was busy putting out fires and I never stopped and said, 'OK, I really did a lot of things, I made a movie, I built a business, had a child, stopped drinking...' ''

Tom will soon pick up the Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award at the CFDA Awards but admits that at first he jumped to conclusions that people thought he was passed his prime:  ''At first I didn't like it, but actually what it caused me to do was look back on my work, not only in my mind but literally, and I have to say that was cathartic, and a pleasant surprise. I actually liked some things and felt proud of them, and that ultimately made me feel more comfortable with myself. And here I am, maybe a little bit more relaxed and a little less desperate to achieve more.''

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