Tom Ford has lost his lifelong partner.
The designer’s husband, fashion journalist Richard Buckley, died on Sunday, Sept. 19 “of natural causes after a prolonged illness,” Ford’s rep confirmed in a statement. He was 72.
“It is with great sadness that Tom Ford announces the death of his beloved husband of 35 years, Richard Buckley,” the statement read. “Richard passed away peacefully at their home in Los Angeles with Tom and their son Jack by his side.”
Their love story was one that began after the two met at a mutual friend’s fashion show in 1986. In fact, in the span of an elevator ride, the style icon realized he had found his other half. “By the time that elevator landed on the ground floor,’ he recalled to People, “I thought, ‘You’re the one.’ That’s it. Click. Sold.”
“It was literally love at first sight,” Ford said. As the designer put it, there was something in Buckley’s eyes “that just said ‘literally the rest of your life.'” Within a month, the couple was living together and, come September 2012, their family grew with the birth of their son Alexander John Buckley Ford. Two years later, the Nocturnal Animals director revealed they had wed.