J. Christopher Burch

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J. Christopher Burch
Chris Burch photo.jpg
Burch in 2012
Born (1953-03-28) March 28, 1953 (age 65)
Bryn Mawr, PA, US
Residence Miami
Nationality United States
Alma mater Ithaca College
Occupation Founder Burch Creative Capital
Known for entrepreneur and investor in the fashion industry
Net worth Steady US$ 1.0 billion (est.)
(March 2013)[1]
Spouse(s) Susan Cole
Tory Robinson
Children six
with Cole:
-Alexandra Burch
-Elizabeth Burch
-Louisa Burch
with Robinson
-Henry Burch
-Nicholas Burch
-Sawyer Burch
Parent(s) John Walter Burch
Robin Sinkler

J. Christopher Burch (born March 28, 1953) is the founder and CEO of Burch Creative Capital, a firm based in New York City that manages venture investments and brand development,[2][3][4] and co-founder of Tory Burch LLC. He became a billionaire in 2012,[5] with Forbes magazine's profile of him in its annual The World's Billionaires stating that the 2012 valuation of Burch's majority stake in C. Wonder pushed his net worth over the ten figure mark.[6] In addition to his personal investments, he was an investor with the Guggenheim Partners.[7]

Early life[edit]

Burch was raised in Wayne, Pennsylvania,[8] in a middle-class family.[9] His mother Robin Sinkler,[10] an Episcopalian,[11] was from a Philadelphia Main Line family and his father, John Walter Burch, a Roman Catholic,[10] was one of 10 children born to a middle-class Baltimore family.[9] His father owned a distributor of mining equipment and supplies.[12]


Fashion industry[edit]

In 1976, while an undergraduate at Ithaca College, Burch and his brother Robert started Eagle's Eye apparel with a $2,000 investment, buying sweaters for $10 each and selling them for $15.[13][14] Burch decided to find a factory to produce a new brand of "preppy" sweaters so that he could sell them door-to-door on campus. His operation soon expanded to other campuses, and, eventually, to retail stores.[15] Over the next decade, the company expanded to $140 million in sales[13] and a national distribution footprint, including more than 50 of its own retail stores. The company was partially sold to Swire Group, in 1989, and entirely, in 1998 in a deal that valued the brand at $60 million.[16]

In 2004, Burch helped his then wife to launch the Tory Burch fashion label,[7] and served as co-Chairman of the company.[17][18][19] He also owned 28.3%, selling half of it in December 2012,[20] as the company was estimated to be worth $3.5 billion.[21] He then established J. Christopher Capital LLC in 2008, later renamed Burch Creative Capital. The company was developed to incubate his new brands and to manage his investments.[7] In 2011, he launched C. Wonder, an apparel, accessories and home decor retailer.[7] In July 2015 the C. Wonder brand was purchased by Xcel Brands.[22]

Real estate[edit]

In 2004, Burch partnered with architect Philippe Stark and hotelier Alan Faena to develop the Faena Hotel+Universe in Buenos Aires. The investment into the building, first built in 1902 as a grain storage facility, was in excess of $100 million.[23] In 2014 he once again invested in the real estate developer's projects after purchasing a condo in Faena House, a South Beach development.[24]

In 2005, Burch purchased a luxury home in Southampton, New York for $14 million, and sold the home for $25 million four months later after renovating the property.[25] Burch then founded J.B. Christopher, a supplier of construction materials to real estate developers, in 2006.[26] In 2011, Burch and his partner Austin Hearst completed the development of a $19 million luxury home developments in Nantucket, Massachusetts.[27] In 2012 he acquired a townhouse in the West Village for $11 million after he had been previously renting it.[28] He subsequently undertook a renovation project that was left unfinished before the property was once again put on the market.

In 2013, Burch purchased the Nihiwatu resort on the island of Sumba, a 27 villa estate resort near Bali.[29]

Other investments[edit]

In 1993, Burch was a producer for the feature-length romantic comedy film Watch It, directed by Tom Flynn, which received a favorable review from the New York Times.[30] He was one of the earliest investors in the Internet IPO for Internet Capital Group,[7] and has made several investments in telecommunications, including Aliph[31] and Powermat.[15] He was also an investor in the online office retailer Poppin.[5] In a partnership with James McBride, he acquired Nihiwatu Resort on the Indonesian island of Sumba in 2013. After a $30 million investment, the pair opened the resort in 2015 under the name Nihi.[32] In 2014, he invested in BaubleBar, leading an investment round of $10 million.[33] That year he also partnered with Ellen DeGeneres to launch her lifestyles collection E.D.[34]

Personal life[edit]

In 1982, Burch married Susan Cole in an Episcopal ceremony.[12] They had three daughters: Alexandra "Pookie" (b. 1985), Elizabeth "Izzie" (b. 1986), and Louisa "Weezie"(b. 1989).[8][9] In 1996, he married the fashion designer Tory Robinson[9][35][36] with whom he has three sons: twins Henry and Nicholas (b. 1997) and Sawyer (b. 2001).[8] They divorced in 2007.

Burch was on the board of the Rothman Institute Orthopedic Foundation.[37] He is a past president of The Pierre Hotel Co-op Board,[38] and a past board member of Guggenheim Partners, and The Continuum Group.[39] In 2013, Burch donated $1.3 million to his alma mater the Tilton School, and was on the school's Board of Trustees from 1982-1985.[40]


  1. ^ Forbes: The World's Billionaires: Christopher Burch retrieved March 8, 2013
  2. ^ Luxury Daily: "Tory Burch cofounder: Tailoring in-store experience vital for brands" by Tricia Carr May 2, 2012
  3. ^ Young, Vicki M. (1 August 2013). "Burch Creative Capital's Coolcore Files Lawsuit". WWD. Retrieved 2 August 2013. 
  4. ^ Burch Creative Capital website
  5. ^ a b Seth Lubove (February 15, 2013). "Chris Burch Becomes a Billionaire as Fashion Stock Surge". Bloomberg News. Retrieved February 20, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Christopher Burch". 2013. Retrieved March 6, 2013. 
  7. ^ a b c d e Richard Collings (June 15, 2012). "A Q&A with J. Christopher Burch: On startups and style". The Deal Magazine. Retrieved January 24, 2013. 
  8. ^ a b c Vanity Fair: "An Empire of Her Own" By Michael Shnayerson February 2007
  9. ^ a b c d Vanity Fair: "Tory Burch's Ex Factor" By Vanessa Grigoriadis December 2012
  10. ^ a b Philadelphia Inquirer: "John W. Burch, 82, veteran and athlete" By Gayle Ronan Sims October 03, 2007
  11. ^ Main Line Media News March 7, 2012
  12. ^ a b New York Times: "Susan Cole Is Married" August 29, 1982
  13. ^ a b Ithaca College: "The School of Business Starts Business Idea Competition Entrepreneur and Ithaca alum Chris Burch '76 is giving students the opportunity to develop their own businesses" retrieved January 5, 2013
  14. ^ Jan Schaffer (July 24, 1983). "Forces behind Eagle's Eye". Boca Raton News. Retrieved January 25, 2013. 
  15. ^ a b Keith Albow (April 19, 2012). "Did ADD help Chris Burch in billion-dollar company success?". Fox News. Retrieved January 25, 2013. 
  16. ^ Josh Patner (October 3, 2004). "Don't Call Her Socialite". New York Times. 
  17. ^ "Burch gives up his chair". New York Post. 29 February 2012. Retrieved 5 June 2013. 
  18. ^ "As Chris Burch Seeks Tory Burch's Ouster at Her Own Brand, Diane von Furstenberg and Anna Wintour Condemn His "Nasty . . . Sabotaging" and Absenteeism". Vanity Fair. 1 November 2012. Retrieved 5 June 2013. 
  19. ^ Ashley Lutz (January 3, 2013). "How Tory Burch Became A Fashion Billionaire In Less Than A Decade". Business Insider. Retrieved September 3, 2015. 
  20. ^ Patricia Sellers (January 22, 2013). "Tory Burch talks about choosing great investors". CNN. Retrieved January 25, 2013. 
  21. ^ Ashley Lutz (January 9, 2013). "Tory Burch's Ex-Husband Disses Her Right After The End Of Their Bitter Lawsuit". Business Insider. Retrieved January 25, 2013. 
  22. ^ Vicki M. Young (Aug 5, 2015). "Brad Goreski Named Creative Director of C. Wonder". Women's Wear Daily. Retrieved September 3, 2015. 
  23. ^ Adriana Schettini (December 5, 2004). "Alan Faena: el duque en sus dominios". La Nación. Retrieved January 24, 2013. 
  24. ^ "NYC branding entrepreneur picks up ultra-luxury Miami condo" The Real Deal, April 04 2014. Accessed 13 May 2015
  25. ^ Troy McMullen (October 14, 2005). "Real-estate briefs of the rich and famous". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved January 25, 2013. 
  26. ^ Daria Meoli (October 2, 2012). "An Entrepreneurial Addiction: An Interview with Christopher Burch". NY Reporter. Retrieved January 24, 2013. 
  27. ^ "House of the Day: Nantucket Retreat". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved January 24, 2013. 
  28. ^ Klarke, Catherine. "C. Wonder chief Christopher Burch drops price of West Village townhouse to $23M" NY Daily News, October 2, 2014. Accessed 13 May 2015
  29. ^ "Indonesian Resort Nihiwatu Announces New Ownership". Luxury Travel Advisor. March 20, 2013. Retrieved April 2, 2013. 
  30. ^ Vincent Canby (March 26, 1993). "Watch It (1993): Review/Film". New York Times. Retrieved January 25, 2013. 
  31. ^ Cotten Timberlake (February 10, 2010). "Tory Burch's Plan to Open 100 Stores Is No 'Vanity Project'". Bloomberg. Retrieved January 25, 2013. 
  32. ^ Mary Hanbury (July 25, 2017). "Take a Tour of the World's Best Hotel, A 5-Star Resort Built by Fashion Mogul Chris Burch on a Remote Indonesian Island". Business Insider. 
  33. ^ MICHAEL J. DE LA MERCED (July 29, 2014). "BaubleBar, an Upstart Jewelry Seller, Raises $10 Million". New York Times. Retrieved September 11, 2014. 
  34. ^ Emily Wick (July 8, 2014). "Ellen DeGeneres wants to furnish your living room with new lifestyle collection". Today Show. Retrieved September 11, 2014. 
  35. ^ The Fortune Hunters: Dazzling Women and the Men They Married By Charlotte Hays p. 167
  36. ^ New York Times Dealbook: "In Unusual Move, Delaware Supreme Court Rebukes a Judge" By PETER LATTMAN November 9, 2012
  37. ^ "Christopher Burch is Designer Tory Burch's ex- Husband". ShowBiz Daily. November 7, 2012. Retrieved January 25, 2013. 
  38. ^ Alexei Barrionuevo (August 23, 2012). "The Most Pampering, the Highest Fees". New York Times. Retrieved January 25, 2013. 
  39. ^ "Mr. J. Christopher Burch: Founder and Chief Executive Officer, J. Christopher Capital". Retrieved January 25, 2013. 
  40. ^ Associated Press (April 10, 2013). "NH school alumnus gives $1.3M gift". Boston Globe. Retrieved April 10, 2013. 

External links[edit]