9 posts tagged "Tucker"
Tucker’s first store literally rose from the ashes. “The fire happened on a Saturday in late July,” designer Gaby Basora tells Style.com. “And even though the studio was completely destroyed, everyone was back at work on Monday—albeit at various locations around the city.” Though the disaster might have wrecked her studio, the New York-based designer behind the easy-breezy line, beloved by Hollywood starlets like Jessica Biel, Liv Tyler, and Cameron Diaz, didn’t let it burn her hopes of opening her first store.
On Friday, Basora, who originally launched her line at Barneys in 2006, will open the doors of her new shop (also home to her new design studio and salesroom) on West Broadway, joining the likes of Isabel Marant, VPL, and, next year, Stella McCartney. Of the 2,000-square-foot space, complete with “architectural quirks” like skylights, stained glass, and tin ceilings, she says, “It’s quintessentially Tucker. I worked with Lithe Sebesta to pull together vintage mannequins and mirrors with a gorgeous patina—we reupholstered antique furniture in Indian textiles and archived Tucker prints.”
You’ll also find plenty of signature Tucker prints (some of them exclusive to the store) on the racks displaying her full collection ($100 to $600), including the floaty blouses she made her name on and double-breasted silk print jackets. Aside from the Basora-designed offerings, there’s a selection of Dashwood Books, leather belts by Golden Bear, shoes from Jerome C. Rousseau, and jewelry from Alyssa Norton and Melissa Joy Manning. Soon to join the mix: fitness gear. “I ran the New York Marathon this year and hated my outfit,” she says. “Stay tuned for Tucker’s take on sportswear in the coming year.” And though she doesn’t have set plans for her next bricks-and-mortar shop, she’s thinking, “Elizabeth Street in London, Buenos Aires, Paris…just to start.”
Tucker, 355 West Broadway, NYC, (212) 938-0811.
If such thing as the fashion soul mate exists, Tucker designer Gaby Basora and director Zoe Cassavetes are each other’s perfect match. Call it a sartorial SheHarmony.com. “It only took like five minutes of Gaby and I meeting to realize that we loved each other entirely,” said Cassavetes over dinner with Basora at Paris restaurant La Saturne in March. The director, who now lives in Paris with her husband, Sebastien Chenut, segued into a bemused, wined-and-dined half-rant. “I love clothes but I hate fashion. I’m sorry, I just don’t have time for the blah blah blah,” she said. “Gaby gave me all the clothes I wanted to wear without the fashion bullshit.” Basora reflected the praise right back across the wooden table. “[Zoe] looks phenomenal in the clothes, but there’s also a shared sensibility—same sense of humor, outlook on life.”
Under such mutually admiring circumstances, a collaboration was only inevitable. Their first is a polka-dot print inspired by a book with the rather direct title of Vintage Dress Fabric From the States that Cassavetes picked up at 10 Corso Como in Milan. “It’s a polka dot, but it’s not really. It’s quirkier than that,” said Basora. True enough. On a background of poppy red, the navy dots seem to dance around—the result of the tiny white squares sprinkled around them.
For her summer collection—hitting stores and sites near you at the end of this month—Basora cut the dotty fabric into her ever-flattering, nipped-waist panel dress and a sexy backless jumpsuit. There’s also a silk bikini that’s not quite ready for cannon-balling into the deep end, but is evidence of their next meeting of the fashion minds: Tucker swimwear. Not surprisingly, Cassavetes has lots to say on the subject. “The thing about our bikini is that it’s going to be completely about the ass,” she began. “I want a ruche at the ass crack to give a little…” Basora finished the sentence, “Definition.” “Yes, and you know what? It works very well,” Cassavetes continued. “Basically it’s something you can wear that’s sexy but if you’re not 20, you’re not dying in it.”
Fans of Tucker’s perfect blouse—the silky, voluminous-sleeved, and often charmingly printed variety on which the label was built—can rest easy. According to designer Gaby Basora, even as her collection has blossomed into a full vision, that beloved piece will never be forsaken for newer, flashier silhouettes.
“If you look at someone like Agnès B, she has her classics,” said Basora last week. “If you have a leather jacket that you love from the eighties, most likely you’ll be able to find it again. Jean Touitou from A.P.C. does that too. I love that model. That’s what I’m hoping to be build over here, a kind of heritage brand.”
Nevertheless, since last fall, when she added outerwear, knits, and a whole host of new blouse and dress silhouettes, Tucker has become a bona fide collection, instead of a grouping of great items. It boosted her sales to now over 300 stores, including a healthy global presence in Europe, the Middle East, and Japan. That jump is also not surprising, since Basora’s longtime louche and groovy seventies aesthetic is now dovetailing with the Me Decade fever all over the runways. Her spring lineup is no exception, with YSL-esque ruffle-necked wrap blouses and dresses, lean high-waisted trousers, and maxi dresses and blouses with open tie necks—all, of course, in fab prints. Just imagine the vintage wardrobe of a woman who either dated or married any member of the Rolling Stones.
As for what’s next, Basora says to expect more collaborations, but not quite like the one she did last year with Target. “I’m going to work with other designers that I love who are doing things in other categories,” she said. And so the House of Tucker grows.
“My ideal woman?” says Tucker’s Gaby Basora (pictured). “Brainy: a doctor, or a woman researching chemistry, or microbiology, who takes off their lab coat at the end of an 18-hour day, only to be wearing a Tucker piece underneath.” Give Basora—the former stylist for Lauryn Hill and her Miseducation tour—credit for an original inspiration. Whatever her ideal, the reality is that her young line is already beloved by Jessica Biel, Liv Tyler, Cameron Diaz, and Jessica Simpson—none lab-coat wearers, but not a bad fan base nonetheless. “Liv Tyler called our office herself, asking for specific pieces. Our assistant was totally flummoxed and turned a dozen shades of red before she finally settled at a purple when talking to her on the phone. You have to understand, we are a really small operation. For our staff, it’s a big deal talking to these high-profile stars.”
Basora is in London for a week to shoot her new ad campaign, and had just enough time to squeeze in a private dinner at the hottest new eatery in East London, Leila’s Shop, with a gaggle of London’s top editors, who have embraced her easy-breeze aesthetic, one that effortlessly combines function and form. “Can you really wear leather peaked-shoulder jackets to work and be comfortable and serious during long days?” asks the designer. Hence, no structured cupola shoulders or leather leggings here, just light, ethereal separates that are now carried in more than a hundred stockists worldwide. “The thing about my pieces is that they are easy to mix up,” said Basora, in a jersey jumpsuit and knitted chevron jacket. “Our clients are clever and play with pieces. A lot of my customers wear certain items with the edgier designers—in fact, in our London showroom, we are shown alongside guys like Marios Schwab and Peter Pilotto, so totally different from what people think our aesthetic is.” A Pilotto-mixing mad scientist? That’s a tall order. So what about a dreamed-for real-life customer? “A combo of brainy and beautiful does it for us, so Michelle Obama would be perfect. Don’t you think?”