Grammy Nominations 2017

Designer (and Music Fanatic) Tory Burch Dishes on Her Bowie Backup-Singer Dreams and Dressing Prince

Martien Mulder
Tory Burch

You might not peg preppy lifestyle designer Tory Burch as a Tupac Shakur fan -- but her first book, Tory Burch: In Color ($50, Abrams), reveals that the Upper East Sider’s taste in music is as bold as her print-splashed womenswear line. Hitting shelves Oct. 14, the tome gives readers the scoop on Burch’s favorite things from cocktails to artists and includes playlists curated by such friends as ex-boyfriend/music executive Lyor Cohen. “Music is an inspiration in everything I do,” says Burch, who counts The Cure and Van Morrison, who she saw perform in a Parisian dive bar 15 years ago, among her faves. As for Tupac? “I listen to him in the car. That’s when I play my rap.”

What’s your earliest music memory?

My dad and mom loved Nelson Eddy and Johnny Cash. I remember hearing my brother Robert’s Creedence Clearwater Revival records, too. 

Who would you like to dress?

Prince wore our caftan and looked fantastic. I would love to dress Janelle Monae and Florence Welch, too.

Cover of Tory Burch's book "Tory Burch: In Color"

What role does music play when you’re in the design studio?

A lyric or even the attitude of a singer can inspire me. During late nights before we show a collection, music keeps me going. This season, a remix of “Eye of the Tiger” was on repeat.

If you could be in a band, which would it be?

David Bowie’s. I’d be a backup singer.

This story originally appeared in the Oct. 18 issue of Billboard