The designer—and die-hard New Yorker—tells Dani Shapiro why Parrot Cay, in the Turks and Caicos, is her home away from home.
I started going to Parrot Cay in 1999, right after it opened. My husband, Stephen, was sick with cancer, and it was this amazing retreat for us. We would go there after a collection, and I would literally not leave the room. The place has significant meaning to me because it's where we spent our last Christmas together, when we redid our vows—we were barefoot on the beach, eight or ten of us—and when we bought our property there.
My daughter Gaby was also married there—and she wanted a wedding just like Mommy's. But she married an Italian, so there was an Italian contingent, a New York contingent, and an L.A. contingent. They flew in from everywhere, and it was a weekend-long party."
Parrot Cay brings my favorite things in the world together. It's East meets West. It's everything and nothing, if I can describe it that way. It's a hidden treasure—the turquoise water, the white, white sand. I remember that, when I was first there, I thought that it needed to be a silent, grown-up place. And now, just recently, I was there with all of my seven grandchildren. It's become a family place for me. And it feels completely effortless, but, oh my God, the amount of effort that goes into it behind the scenes.