• Andy Gordon

Recognising Exceptional Women Entrepreneurs

TORY BURCH


Born on 17th June, 1966 as Tory Robinson; Tory Burch is the Chairman, CEO & Designer of Tory Burch LLC. Being an American fashion designer, self-made business woman and a philanthropist, Tory has won several fashion awards for her work and as of date, with a net worth of $1 billion – she is listed as the 79th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes.


Tory – the daughter of a former actress mother & a wealthy investor father i.e. Reva and Ira Earl “Bud” Robinson, was born in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania & was raised with her three brothers Robert, James and Leonard in a 250-year old Georgian Valley Forge farmhouse, near the Valley Forge National Historical Park.


To begin with; Tory always credits her parents for the eclectic and worldly style, she has inculcated and now influences her own design style. Tory considers their way of dressing, unique sense of style, fine detailing, etc., as one of her biggest inspirations in life.


Tory began her career with Benetton in the King of Prussia Mall, which although was nothing serious but did help her with some experience. Soon after she graduated from college, she moved to New York City and joined Zoran – a Yugoslavian designer and later moved on to Harper’s Bazaar magazine.


Other than that; she also worked with Vera Wang, Polo Ralph Lauren and Loewe in public relations and advertising positions.


While at Vera Wang, tory often used to run into Chris Burch! Soon both got married in 1996 and in a snap of time; she was living in a house full of six children. This situation, evetually started to become extremely difficult for her; to work and to be a full-time mother.


Although, she gave up her career for her children, but tory being a career-oriented woman just couldn’t take it and began to grow “restless.” She began to create scrapbooks with paper cuttings from books, magazines, etc., and later showed them to prominent fashion designers, who let me tell you were quite impressed with her ideas.


Motivated by the inspirational commercial about “following your dreams” that aired after 9/11; Tory finally decided to take the leap into fashion designing!


Having decided that; she borrowed $2 million from her retail tycoon husband – Christopher Burch and although she had never designed any clothing, Tory opened her own fashion line in 2004. Initially she called her fashion label, “TRB by Tory Burch”, but later changed it to “Tory Burch”


Tory began her first New York City boutique at the retail mecca of NoLita with signature pieces of ‘Reva’ ballet flats and tunics. This was soon followed by Toryburch.com in 2005 with a clothing line of “preppy-boho” and was credited with making T-shirts trendy again.


The turning point of her business came when she appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show in April 2005. She was so impressed with Tory’s work that she went on to call her “the next big thing in fashion.” And there was no looking back from here onwards; her stardom skyrocketed. As a matter of fact; her website received eight million hits on the very next day of the show.