The American fashion designer recently launched her swimsuit collection in Singapore. We chatted with her about vacations around the world, South Asian influences and the stuff that inspires her.
1. Tell us about the inspiration behind your new swimwear collection now at the pop-up store in Wisma Atria.
The collection – an assortment of maillots and bikinis, breezy caftans and tunics, espadrilles, sandals, bags, hats and sunglasses – reflects my active lifestyle, as well as my love of travel and weekends at the beach. For the Spring 2015 collection, we were inspired by the spirit of artist Francoise Gilot and the time she spent with Picasso in Vallauris.
2. On that note, what is your idea of a perfect beach vacation?
Whether it’s Southampton, Thailand, Hawaii or on the Amalfi Coast, my perfect beach vacation is spent with my three boys – walking on the beach, hiking along the coast, swimming and paddle boarding.
3. Let us in on a secret beach hideaway of yours.
Southampton in New York is one of my favourite places in the world. We usually have family or friends over at our house for the weekend. I love clambakes on the beach in the evening.
4. Do you prefer bazaars or boutiques?
I don’t have a lot of time to shop when I’m travelling, but I try to visit both local markets and boutiques. I love wandering around the souks in Morocco for hours, looking for interesting textiles and prints, but I also love boutiques like 10 Corso Como in Milan.
5. Is there a destination that has significantly moulded your design aesthetic?
India and Morocco have been incredible sources of inspiration over the years. My parents honeymooned in Morocco so there’s a sentimental connection. Whenever I visit I’m amazed by the history, architecture, textiles, spices and, most of all, the people and artisans. India is also extraordinary. Every colour is heightened and celebrated there – you can see it in the saris, the spices, the flowers, the rugs, the graffiti on walls. My design team and I have made several trips there and many Indian influences come through in our collection.
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6. What’s the most unlikely fashion city you know of?
People don’t usually associate India’s cities with fashion but I am always inspired by the bold colours and jewellery there. I love the way the women interpret Western styles through the lens of their own traditions.
7. Name three items that you never travel without.
Noise-cancelling headphones, my iPad with great playlists and books and a red ribbon for good luck – It’s a family tradition.
8. What’s the one place that you’re most excited to visit in 2015?
I’m really looking forward to my visit to Italy in April. We’re celebrating our new flagship in Milan and I’m participating in the Conde Nast International Luxury Conference in Florence. I’m also excited about my trip to Paris this summer to celebrate the launch of our flagship on the Rue Saint-Honore – it will be our first boutique in France. (Read about how Tory Burch built her billion-dollar empire in six steps).
9. You probably have a hectic work schedule while travelling. What’s the one thing that you always try to do when on the road?
When I’m travelling, I set out with an open mind and a camera and see where it all takes me. I am always discovering new and interesting things that may end up inspiring different pieces in a collection. I always love meeting new people to learn more about the local culture and visiting local art museums and galleries. I also like to venture away from the typical tourist destinations.