The Secret to Fashion Designer Tory Burch's Success
In 2004, on the opening day of the first Tory Burch store located on Elizabeth Street in Manhattan, Tory anxiously invited her friends and family to visit. Her worries were unwarranted. Before the sun set, they had sold through most of their inventory, and by evening the store was wiped out clean. Ten years and 141 freestanding boutiques later, and with more than 400 retail stores in 50 countries distributing her wares, Tory Burch has become one of the fastest-growing luxury labels in America, generating $1 billion in revenue in 10 years. Through the Tory Burch Foundation, established in 2009, Tory has incorporated philanthropy into her company, enabling some 200 women entrepreneurs to fund their own enterprises. Now that she’s preparing to venture into dinnerware, sportswear, and even menswear, the incredible success not witnessed in many of her contemporaries begs the question: What’s left for Tory to conquer?
A spread of Mexican clay plates, Turkish table linens, Italian tumblers, and peonies from Tory's garden in Southampton, photographed by Noa Griffel.
Born in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, 51-year-old Tory Robinson Burch is the embodiment of WASP chic, the Lilly Pulitzer of her generation, if you will. Nine years ago, when Tory was on the cover of this magazine’s American edition, Carrie Doyle Karasyov wrote, “Her tunics became the uniform for everyone from the Upper East Side lady who lunches to women across America who wanted to look like an Upper East Side lady who lunches.”
The cover of Tory Burch in Color designed by Damien Hirst.
The speed at which Tory’s erected her $3 billion
Left: A young Tory with her late father, Buddy. Right: Reva Robinson.
Tory’s first coffee table volume, Tory Burch in Color (Abrams), is a catalog of the influences that have molded her winning formula. “I see the world in color,” says Tory. “This book is a kaleidoscope of my greatest influences and experiences, told through images and stories of the people, places, things, and ideas that inspire me.” Chief among those influencers were her parents, Buddy and Reva Robinson. That her late father, a Philadelphia Main Line patrician, once dated Grace Kelly and Joan Bennett should have been a sure sign that there would be an “it” gene to be passed on; Tory’s mother Reva (“the most stylish woman I know,” Tory says) was certainly no slouch on the social circuit, either, with Steve “King of Cool” McQueen as an old boyfriend.
Tory with her three sons in Machu Picchu, Peru.
Inspiration was never in short supply for Tory, as one will discover while perusing her
Throughout the volume are full-color images from Tory’s past and present. Her stately Southampton estate and beautiful table
TORY BURCH'S "THE SOUTHSIDE" COCKTAIL
1 1⁄2 oz. vodka
1⁄2 oz. Cointreau
1 oz. simple syrup
2 1⁄2 oz. fresh lime juice Ice
Soda water Fresh mint leaves
Muddle mint leaves in a pitcher. Add vodka, Cointreau, simple syrup, fresh lime juice, and ice. Stir well. Top off with soda water (don't stir). Add mint sprig.
This story was originally published in the October 2014 issue of Town&Country.