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4 Things That Inspire Fashion Designer Tory Burch

05/01/2015 08:20 am ET | Updated May 01, 2015

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As told to Leigh Haber

Tory Burch: In Color by Tory Burch with a foreword by Anna Wintour, is a multifaceted look book illustrating where the design icon finds inspiration. While some of her sources (Paris, Yves Saint Laurent, lush gardens) are to be expected, others --obscure poems, hip-hop artists, apricots -- provide a deeper perspective on how a former art history student built a fashion empire. O asked her to flesh out the portrait.

Her Original Style Icon: "My father, Buddy Robinson, was superchic -- a dandy. He always wore dinner jackets at night and espadrilles in the summer, but with his own flair. He was even well dressed when riding a tractor or listening to a ball game on the radio."

Her Go-To Color: "I love blue in all its shades and textures. I wear navy like others wear black, and I love the blue in flowers -- cornflowers, delphiniums. There's a Diebenkorn painting -- Ocean Park No. 68 -- that is the color of a swimming pool and always reminds me of summers at the beach."

The Novel That's Most Influenced Her: "The Great Gatsby, for the sheer glamour of it, for the way it captures something quintessentially American."

What Keeps Her Grounded: "The women I meet through the Tory Burch Foundation -- entrepreneurs who have tenacity and ambition and are giving back to their communities. They inspire me and remind me why I'm doing what I'm doing."

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