Tucker by Gaby Basora is one of those New York fashion brands that all the cool girls love. Perhaps it’s because her designs make you look sexy and stylish without looking like you’ve tried too hard, the ultimate in New York style. Or maybe it’s because the clothes make anyone, no matter what their shape, look instantly chic. Celebrities like Drew Barrymore, Rashida Jones and Gwen Stefani are huge fans and for good reason.
We sat down with the designer Gaby Basora in her art filled Soho studio to ask her how it all began. We were interested to learn that she didn’t go to design school but instead took the intellectual path beginning at Sarah Lawrence then on to UCLA. Exceptionally well travelled, she spent long periods in places like Amsterdam and Paris.
Gaby tells hysterical tales of her first job out of college in Los Angeles. She was working at Agnes B on Robertson and was literally “hoola hooping” in the store when Bill Murray came in and she helped him buy up half the store for Angelica Houston. Gaby said “things like that happened all the time back in the day, we literally used to dance in the windows to attract shoppers”.
Moving to New York she began assisting legendary stylist Karl Templer. She lights up when telling stories of visiting showrooms to view designer’s collections in a time before the internet, when you had no idea what was in store for you. Going out on her own she
became a legendary stylist, famously styling Lauren Hill on her Miseducation tour.
Always making clothes for herself, people kept asking Gaby where she got them. The Tucker line could almost be credited with starting with one particular blouse. It was button down silk and whenever she wore it everyone wanted one so she decided to make a small amount. Her phone rung off the hook with people desperate for the piece. They still make that same blouse today and it remains wildly popular.
It was important to her that the clothes be made in New York, a rare and difficult thing in this day and age, but she persevered and found a manufacturer in Midtown Manhattan. One of the things that first attracted us to the Tucker line, besides the gorgeous designs, was the hang tag that proudly says Made in New York City in letters even larger than the brand itself. So it began in 2006, initially as a small cottage industry, beautiful clothes made in Manhattan. It didn’t take long for the buyers at Barney’s to discover the clothes and from there it just grew and grew and is now sold in over 300 stores worldwide.
Last summer a tragedy of unimaginable proportions fell upon them when the design studio literally burnt to the ground. They lost everything. For many a designer this would have meant the end, but instead the Tucker brand just got stronger and and in December in Soho, they opened their first ever store. A Tucker pop up shop just opened in London at the super fashionable Harvey Nichols department store. For the opening of the pop up they made an exquisite heartfelt story book about the near destruction of the company and the journey to the happy opening of the London pop up.
The beautiful unique patterns and illustrations found on the designs are usually done in-house, often by their gifted illustrator, Kim Gerard a Parisian artist. Gaby is a true creative spirit and the Soho store reflects this with rotating displays of art works by local artists she adores.
There’s something about the designs that while being relevant to fashion today, also have a feeling of classic style. They’re the kind of pieces that are timeless, super fashionable today, classic and stylish in years to come. There’s a truly luxurious feel to the line, the shirts and dresses are gorgeous silks and the coats made of those tactile textiles that make people want to snuggle up to you.
Walking in to the store, your heart skips a beat and you are overtaken by the fact that you literally want every item you can see. It feels like a heritage brand in the making and you get the sense that you are looking at something very special.
Tucker by Gaby Basora. 355 West Broadway. NY. NY. 10013.