Burch in India, 2009 during her trip to Singapore and other Asian countries.
June 17, 1966
Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, United States
|Residence||New York City|
|Education||University of Pennsylvania|
Chairman, CEO and Designer at Tory Burch LLC
|Known for||Tory Burch line of clothing and accessories|
|Net worth||US$1 billion (2015)|
|Spouse(s)||William Macklowe (1993; divorced)
J. Christopher Burch (1996-2006; divorced)
|Awards||2005 Rising Star, Fashion Group International;
2007 Accessory Brand Launch Award, Accessories Council Excellence Awards;
2008 Accessories Designer of the Year, Council of Fashion Designers of America
Tory Burch (born June 17, 1966; née Robinson) is an American fashion designer, businesswoman, and philanthropist, who has won several fashion awards for her designs. She is the Chairman, CEO, and Designer of Tory Burch LLC. As of 2015, she is listed as the 73rd most powerful woman in the world by Forbes.
Early life and education
Burch was born in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, the daughter of Reva (née Schapira) and Ira Earl "Bud" Robinson (1923–2007). She was raised with her three brothers (Robert, James and Leonard) in a Valley Forge farmhouse, a 250-year-old Georgian near the Valley Forge National Historical Park.
Her father was a wealthy investor who inherited a stock exchange seat and a paper cup company. He dated Grace Kelly and Joan Bennett before marrying Reva, an actress who had dated both Steve McQueen and Marlon Brando. Burch is Jewish on her mother's side.
Burch attended the Agnes Irwin School in Rosemont, Pennsylvania, where she rode horses, was captain of the tennis team, and was a friend of jewelry designer Kara Ross (they remain friends today). Her first job was at Benetton in the King of Prussia Mall. She then attended the University of Pennsylvania, where she was a member of the sorority Kappa Alpha Theta. She majored in art history, and graduated in 1988.
After graduating from college, Tory moved to New York City where she worked for Zoran, a Yugoslavian designer, followed by Harper's Bazaar magazine. She then moved into public relations and advertising positions at Vera Wang, Polo Ralph Lauren and Loewe when Narciso Rodriguez was there.
Burch began her fashion label – "TRB by Tory Burch", later known as Tory Burch – in February 2004, launching it with a retail store in Manhattan's Nolita district. Most of the inventory sold out on the first day. When Oprah Winfrey endorsed her line on The Oprah Winfrey Show in April 2005, calling Burch "the next big thing in fashion", Burch's website received eight million hits the following day.
Since launch, the company has grown to include 160 Tory Burch stores worldwide. The fashion line, which encompasses ready-to-wear, shoes, handbags, accessories, watches, home decor, and a fragrance and beauty collection, is also carried at over 3,000 department and specialty stores worldwide. In 2015 Burch also introduced a separate performance activewear line, Tory Sport, with a dedicated website and a pop-up shop; a stand-alone store on Fifth Avenue is scheduled to follow in 2016.
Burch's style has been described as preppy-boho and preppy-bohemian luxe, and is associated with her T-logo medallion. Known for being easy to wear and versatile, her styles are popular with women of all ages, including the viewers and fans of the television show Gossip Girl, where they were often featured. In 2007, there were wait lists to buy Tory Burch fashions, which are known for color and print and often pay homage to styles of the 1960s and 1970s. Burch named her line of Reva ballerina flats after her mother.
Selected television appearances
|2005||The Oprah Winfrey Show||Guest||April 4, 2005 episode|
|2009||Gossip Girl||Herself||Season 3, episode 4|
|2010||Project Runway||Guest judge||Season 7, episode 6|
|2012||CBS News Sunday Morning||Guest||January 29, 2012 episode|
|Iconoclasts||Documentary subject||Season 6, episode 4|
|2014||Good Morning America||Guest||October 14, 2014 episode|
|Charlie Rose||Interviewee||October 16, 2014 episode|
In 2005, Burch won the Rising Star Award for Best New Retail Concept from the Fashion Group International. In 2007, she won the Accessory Brand Launch of the year award at the Accessories Council Excellence Awards. In 2008, Burch won the Council of Fashion Designers of America award for Accessories Designer of the Year. Working Mother included her on their list of the 50 Most Powerful Moms of 2015. In 2015, she received the Breast Cancer Research Foundation's Sandra Taub Humanitarian Award.
Burch serves on the boards of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, the Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, the Startup America Partnership and the Barnes Foundation. She is a member of the Industry Advisory Board of the Jay H. Baker Retailing Center at the Wharton School of Business, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She chaired the 2007 spring gala for the American Ballet Theatre.
In 2009, Burch founded the Tory Burch Foundation, which supports the economic empowerment of women in the U.S. through small business loans, mentoring and entrepreneurial education. The foundation is currently partnered with ACCION USA, a non-profit domestic microfinance provider founded in 1991. Burch’s stores sell products whose proceeds support the foundation’s work.
In 2014, the foundation launched Elizabeth Street Capital, an initiative with Bank of America, with an initial investment of $10 million in capital to provide women entrepreneurs with access to low cost loans, mentoring support and networking opportunities. The initiative is named for the location of the first Tory Burch boutique. The foundation also offers an entrepreneurial education program in collaboration with Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses and Babson College. In November 2015, the foundation launched a fellows competition offering women entrepreneurs a chance to compete for business-education grants, year-long mentoring, and a $50,000 grant plus a $50,000 no-interest investment in their business.
In April 2014, the Obama Administration named Burch an inaugural member of the Presidential Ambassadors for Global Entrepreneurship, a group of successful American businesspeople committed to developing the next generation of entrepreneurs in the U.S. and around the world. Other members of PAGE include Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn, and entertainment producer Quincy Jones.
In 1993 she married William Macklowe, son of real-estate tycoon Harry B. Macklowe, and was divorced within a year. In 1996 she married J. Christopher Burch, an investor in Internet Capital Group, a venture capital firm founded by Walter Buckley and Ken Fox. Although divorced from Burch in 2006, she continues to use his last name, and for some time continued to live with her children in their New York City apartment; she has three sons and three stepdaughters. She dated Lance Armstrong in 2007. Afterward she was for some time linked to Lyor Cohen.
In January 2013, Forbes magazine estimated that she is now a billionaire with a net worth of $1.0 billion.
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