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Tom Ford says leaving Gucci felt like a “divorce”.

The fashion designer, who was creative director of the fashion house for 10 years, admits parting ways with the company in 2004 was devastating and felt like he had lost a lover.

He said: “You can imagine what it was like when I left. Even though I could see the writing on the wall a good two years before I went.

“I was suddenly negotiating my contract with people that I didn’t know. I had nothing lined up. Literally nothing. You don’t when you are working on 16 collections a year.

“It was like a divorce. I was bereft. But I have done a lot of work on myself and I am through it.”

Ford left Gucci after he and CEO Domenico de Sole failed to agree with PPR bosses over creative control. PPR bought the luxury company in 1999.

Since branching out on his own, the 47-year-old designer has launched a range of perfumes, eyewear and an exclusive menswear collection.

Ford has had to battle sceptical critics, but he insists he doesn’t regret leaving Gucci.

He explained to Britain’s The Times newspaper: “Of course I knew that there were people laughing and saying, ‘Ha, ha, he is doing eyewear now and he used to be the big I am.’ But I knew where I was going and it didn’t bother me.”

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