Richard Buckley, a quietly influential fashion journalist whose early work appeared in this magazine, Vanity Fair, and Mirabella and then became editor-in-chief of Vogue Hommes International from 1999 to 2005, has died at the age of 72.
He met his partner, the designer Tom Ford, in an elevator, Ford has said, and they essentially never parted — they had three dates, and four weeks later, were living together.
November 25, 1986, was their first date. At that first meeting, Ford, who was 25 at the time, told Buckley that in ten years, he’d be a millionaire and a successful designer. Yikes, Buckley thought. But Ford beat expectations. Over the years, Buckley was a confidante, inspiration, adviser, supporter, and the person who knew all the gossip that Ford would never tell.
They had their son, Alexander John Buckley Ford (whom they call “Jack”), in 2012, and married in 2014, though Ford’s statement about Buckley’s death more properly referred to him as “his beloved husband of 35 years.”
“I’ll never find anyone better than Richard,” Ford said in 2004.
Three things to read to learn more:
On his strengths as an editor, via WWD : “In 1982, he moved to Paris as the European editor of Fairchild Publications’ Daily News Record, the men’s wear counterpart to WWD. In that and subsequent roles, he had the uncanny ability to spot what was ‘next’ — the young designer who would become the Next Big Thing; a club everyone would soon be flocking to, or a musician, actor or actress set to explode onto the scene.”
On how he met Ford, via The Advocate: “Ford had to go to WWD to pick up some clothes and found himself in the elevator with Buckley who was taking him to where the clothes were. ‘I decided in that elevator ride that I was going to marry him,’ Ford told Out. ‘I’m very pragmatic, and I was, like, OK, there’s some kind of connection here. He ticked every box, and — boom — by the time we got to the floor, I was like, OK, sold. He seemed so together. He was so handsome, he was so connected, he was so grown-up, so he was very intimidating. And he really chased me — not that he had to chase that hard. It excited me but it also scared me, because I knew he was different and that whatever it was I felt with him was very different from what I’d felt before.’”
On his friendships via Cameron Silver, owner of Decades: “I met Richard Buckley shortly after Decades opened in 1997. He purchased a neon and black swirl ‘60s dress on eyelash fabric. Richard asked me lots of questions and was generally keen about why I had opened a vintage clothing store. Within a few days, Tom Ford had popped in and then Lisa Eisner. All explained that Richard had told them about this new vintage store on Melrose Avenue and the youngish guy who had opened it. … When my mom would join me in Paris, Richard would take us out for dinner at some unpretentious restaurant on the Left Bank. I fondly remember that Richard loved a tan cotton Paul & Joe shirt I was wearing on one trip to Paris and we tried to track another one down. Richard asked questions and he listened.”