Abigail Wilmore,

Chief People Officer, Tom Ford Fashion


Abigail Wilmore, Chief People Officer for Tom Ford Fashion, explains why she is on a mission to get HR back to their own wellbeing before they tout it to others and why she spent a long summer, detailing the 8 superpowers that gives the profession its magic...

Abigail Wilmore,

Chief People Officer, Tom Ford Fashion


Abigail Wilmore, Chief People Officer for Tom Ford Fashion, explains why she is on a mission to get HR back to their own wellbeing before they tout it to others and why she spent a long summer, detailing the 8 superpowers that gives the profession its magic...

I meet Abigail on a cold April day, and while I am huddled into a thick, woolly jumper with my hair scrapped back in a less than purposeful way, she is my exact opposite. Wearing some chic eyeglasses, she personifies the brand of eyewear that she works for at Tom Ford Fashion, the one that ‘masters an effortless aesthetic.’ She is polished with flawless skin, and it doesn’t surprise me that she opens with, “I wanted to be a ballerina.”

The dream didn’t come true, but Wilmore is tenacious and determined and quickly channelled her passions into something else, that ‘something’ was HR. It began in retail, grafting on the shop floor. “After a couple of years, a job came up in head office, it was in HR and a colleague suggested I try it,” she says.

It was a match, and, like any good relationship, Wilmore went with her gut and says that she immediately knew that HR was right for her. In a nod to how the passage of time passes in the blink of an eye, she casually adds, “I worked my way up and I’ve been in the profession for 23 years now!”

Luxury fashion brands grow the role

In 2006, Wilmore found herself in the luxury fashion industry, working for Gucci Group. British brands have been at the heart of her career too, Wilmore spent 14 years with Stella McCartney and Alexander McQueen. It’s an impressive parade of fashion houses and reflecting on her time, particularly at Stella she says that at this point her career took on more breadth. Fashion is an interconnected industry and in 2021, she went to work for one of Stella’s friends, Barbara Sturm for a year and a half. Being part of a huge growth trajectory, she thrived off the experience of being central to something new and emerging.

It was a pivotal moment because Wilmore began to combine her role with consulting. It coincided with Covid-19 and when the world stopped, Wilmore geared up. With working days being reduced she saw the opening to build her consultancy business when others were isolating and managing their own pandemic journey. Clients ranged from luxury brands to not-for-profits. Antonyms of each other, she relished the variety.

You have to think differently about performance and reviews and wanting to rip up the rule book in terms of the traditional ways of doing HR

Abigail Wilmore | Chief People Officer, Tom Ford Fashion

“I wasn’t really thinking about taking up a new role but then Tom Ford came up and they were setting up a new headquarters in London and Milan and were looking a Chief People Officer,” she explains. She has been with the firm for seven months and says it is, ‘A joy to work for.’

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