When we met Gaby Basora, the designer behind the five-year-old line Tucker, we were a bit taken aback. Tucker, her line of printed silk separates, is feminine, breezy, full of pastel and saturated shades. Tucker is very upbeat in nature. When Gaby showed up for our meeting at her Soho boutique and showroom on her bicycle in heels, high-waisted jeans, a Tucker sailor top and oversize, very 70’s sunglasses which made her eyes look like saucers, we immediately decided she was one the coolest, über-downtown mother-of-three boys we’d ever met. She was not who we expected, and we loved her for it. Gaby is engaging and wickedly articulate, and her enthusiastic, grand-scale vision–of keeping her designs made in New York to help a dying business, of helping other business women, and the desire to teach young talent, is contagious. A truly modern and inspiring woman.
Why the name Tucker? I had an appointment to show my collection to Barneys in 2006 but had no name for it. I heard stories of designers losing control over their names and with the deadline looming, labels had to be ordered. I woke up from a dream with the name Tucker on my mind. I love the connotations of language, so I looked up the meaning in the dictionary. One definition: piece of cloth draped over the bosom. GULP!
What is the key to a successful print? Where do you find your inspiration? It varies and is often surprising. Whether a print is successful or not is never a sure thing, which I like. Inspiration comes from everywhere, from something as pedestrian as gum on the street to something as abstract as Marguerite Duras’ writing. A travel to Turkey brought back inspiration from tiles. And films. My mother built and ran an art house cinema at Seattle’s Pike Place Market. I like making film vignettes for Tucker–homages to the women who wear Tucker or have inspired me. We just finished a film with Kinga Burza, who directed the short film, Candy.
What do you want women to feel when they buy a piece from Tucker? Clothing and dressing is an opportunity for communication, to say something about yourself and to connect. The experience of feeling beautiful, special, daring, unexpected, manly or womanly is an opportunity for exploration. But now it is also essential to be comfortable and move easily. Tucker offers a chance for women to make the look their own. I love that in one week, Richard Branson’s mother was pictured in The Wall Street Journal wearing printed Tucker pants and then Tom Ford’s thirteen-year-old niece was in a Tucker blouse in French Vogue.
Summer essentials: My Dannijo cuff–my young son says it’s my Wonder Woman bracelet; sunglasses from Selima; bicycle from Bicycle Habitat; mixing up bikinis from Bantu and Giejo; and, of course, Tucker.
Fave family activities: An impromptu tea party, serving all flavors of Girl Scout cookies at Strawberry Fields in Central Park; walking over the Brooklyn Bridge for tacos at Gran Electrica; the Guggenheim Museum, because the staircase is frightening and gorgeous and gives me vertigo; lunch and dinner at Bar Pitti; frisee salad at Cafe Sabarsky at the Neue Galerie; playing ball in the park.
Keeps me sane: Reading, walking and laughing.