Tom Ford ‘didn’t realise homosexuality existed’ until he was 17

American fashion designer, film director, screenwriter and film producer Tom Ford has admitted that he didn’t know what homosexuality was until he was 17.

The 55-year-old said that before he moved to New York, he didn’t know the concept existed and had happy relationships with women.

His move to the big city enlightened his sexuality, but now he has found happiness with his husband Richard Buckley.

He said: “It was only when I went to New York when I was 17 that I realised I was gay. Before then, I had girlfriends, I was happy with them and they were happy with me. I suppose I didn’t really imagine that homosexuality even existed back then. Then I went to New York and it was, ‘Oh. Right. That’s what it is.'”

Since moving to the Big Apple Ford has now settled down and had a child, 4-year-old Alexander, with his partner a life changing moment for the pair.

The designer feels it was the right decision to wait until later in life to become a parent because he was “too drunk” to take on the care of someone else when he was younger.

Ford said: “I’m tired of being me and I’m ready to give more time to another person. That’s why I’m happy now to be a father. It’s absolutely the right time in my life, I couldn’t have had a son when I was 40 – I was probably too drunk, for one thing.”

The biggest adjustment he has made so far is cutting down on his number one vice, a hot bath.

He told Esquire magazine: “People have mocked me for the number of hot baths I take every day. It used to be five, but since I’ve become a father, it’s only two. Maybe three. But I definitely need to have a half-hour in the tub in the morning, after I get up at 6am, just to lie there and think. That’s my meditation.”

The leading fashion designer has been a vocal advocate for LGBT visibility and participation in fashion, and included a trans model in his 2014 autumn fashion campaign.