When it comes to the men of Hollywood, Giorgio Armani has long been the king of red-carpet dressing. But recently Tom Ford has made serious inroads in this arena, with his ties to L.A.—he’s a bona fide director, after all—and his company’s focus on men’s wear. As awards season approaches, we measure up this bare-knuckle competition.
This story first appeared in the January 17, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Celebrity Wrangler in Chief
Giorgio Armani: Wanda McDaniel, executive vice president of entertainment industry communications worldwide.
Tom Ford: Cori Galpern is worldwide director of communications, but Tom Ford often personally pulls strings.
Biggest A-List Fan
Giorgio Armani: George Clooney
Tom Ford: Brad Pitt
Fans From Young Hollywood
Giorgio Armani: Glee’s Chris Colfer and Cory Monteith donned Armani for the 2010 Emmys.
Tom Ford: Jake Gyllenhaal wore Tom Ford to both the L.A. and Moscow premieres of Prince of Persia. The young-at-heart Jimmy Fallon wore Tom Ford to the 2010 White House Correspondents’ Association dinner.
Giorgio Armani: Jon Hamm wore Armani to both the Oscars and Emmys in 2010.
Tom Ford: Johnny Depp, who’s long worn Armani, switched to Tom Ford for the premiere of Alice in Wonderland in London in February and The Tourist in Rome in December.
2010 Oscars Scoreboard
Giorgio Armani: George Clooney, Jeremy Renner, Christoph Waltz, Samuel L. Jackson, Sean Penn, Robin Williams.
Tom Ford: Colin Firth, Ryan Reynolds, Bradley Cooper, Alec Baldwin, Tom Hanks, Stanley Tucci, Matthew Broderick, Marc Anthony.
Handicapping the 2011 Oscars
Giorgio Armani: Leonardo DiCaprio (Inception, Shutter Island) and Mark Wahlberg (The Fighter) have long been Armani men.
Tom Ford: Colin Firth (The King’s Speech) is sure to wear Tom Ford, his director in 2009’s A Single Man.
Co-host and likely nominee James Franco (127 Hours) is off-limits to both Armani and Ford, though: He’s the face of a Gucci fragrance and will certainly wear that label.
Armani/Ford Flip-Flopper of 2010
Steve Martin, a longtime Armani adherent, changed outfits several times while co-hosting the 2010 Oscar telecast, alternating between Armani and Tom Ford. “The majority of looks were Giorgio Armani,” sniffs an Armani insider.