Tory Burch, the name synonymous with timeless fashion, business acumen, and philanthropy, has been a prominent figure in the fashion industry for decades. Born on June 17, 1966, in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, Burch has left an indelible mark on the world, not just through her stylish creations but also her dedication to empowering women and giving back to society.
Tory Burch's upbringing was as unique as her career path. Raised in a 250-year-old Georgian farmhouse near Valley Forge National Historical Park, she was the daughter of Reva and Ira Earl "Bud" Robinson. Her father, a wealthy investor with a background in the stock exchange and a paper cup company, instilled in her the values of entrepreneurship from a young age.
Burch attended the Agnes Irwin School in Rosemont, Pennsylvania, where she befriended jewellery designer Kara Ross. Her journey in fashion began with a humble job at Benetton in the King of Prussia mall. She later pursued her education at the University of Pennsylvania, majoring in art history, and graduated in 1988. Her sorority affiliation with Kappa Alpha Theta marked her university years.
After completing her education, Tory Burch made her way to the bustling streets of New York City. She embarked on her career in the fashion industry by working for Zoran, a Yugoslavian designer, followed by a stint at Harper's Bazaar magazine. She then ventured into public relations and advertising roles at renowned fashion houses like Vera Wang, Polo Ralph Lauren, and Loewe during Narciso Rodriguez's tenure.
In February 2004, Tory Burch embarked on a remarkable journey by establishing her eponymous fashion label, initially introduced as "TRB by Tory Burch." This pivotal moment marked the birth of a brand that would evolve into a global fashion powerhouse. Tory's vision came to life with the opening of her first retail store in Manhattan's vibrant Nolita district, setting the stage for a dazzling career in the fashion industry.
As of 2020, Tory Burch's fashion brand has extended its reach, boasting a network of over 350 stores worldwide. Her exquisite fashion line now graces the shelves of more than 3,000 department stores and speciality boutiques across the globe. Notably, in 2015, Tory diversified her brand with the introduction of Tory Sport, a line of performance activewear. Her relentless pursuit of excellence has positioned her as a prominent figure in the world of fashion, earning recognition and awards, including the coveted CFDA Accessories Designer of the Year.
While Tory Burch's career has been marked by success and accolades, it has not been without controversy. Instances where her designs closely resembled traditional garments from other cultures led to criticisms and adjustments in her marketing strategies.
Despite these controversies, her commitment to philanthropy and her impact on the fashion industry cannot be denied.
While Tory Burch's fashion empire has made waves, it is her philanthropic endeavours that truly set her apart. In 2009, she took a monumental step by founding the Tory Burch Foundation, a vehicle for her commitment to the economic empowerment of women in the United States. Through this foundation, Tory has facilitated small business loans, mentoring programs, and entrepreneurial education, offering women the tools and resources required for success.
Among the foundation's initiatives, Tory Burch has collaborated with Goldman Sachs and Babson College to provide women entrepreneurs with an entrepreneurial education program. The foundation also operates a fellows program, offering grants, mentorship, and networking opportunities to aspiring women business owners. Notably, the Tory Burch Foundation Capital Program has distributed millions in loans to women entrepreneurs, furthering their business aspirations.
Tory's commitment to empowering women transcends borders. She was named an inaugural member of the Presidential Ambassadors for Global Entrepreneurship in 2014, dedicated to nurturing the next generation of entrepreneurs, both in the United States and internationally. In 2017, she launched the Embrace Ambition campaign to challenge gender bias surrounding ambition, promoting the celebration of women's ambition. Her dedication to social responsibility was evident in June 2020, when her company stood out during the COVID-19 pandemic by donating clothing and fabric for face masks and hospital gowns to frontline healthcare workers.
Furthermore, Tory Burch's contributions extend to the field of education. She collaborated with the Parsons School of Design to establish an endowed scholarship fund, providing support to aspiring designers and creative minds.
Tory Burch's personal life has seen its share of changes and challenges, including marriages and high-profile relationships. She is currently married to Pierre-Yves Roussel, the former chairman and CEO of LVMH, who is also a key figure in her fashion company. This partnership has not only deepened her personal life but has also shaped the direction of her brand.
Forbes magazine estimated Burch's net worth at $1 billion in 2013. As of 2019, her worth was approximately $850 million. In 2023, Forbes reported her estimated net worth to be 110 crores USD.
Tory Burch's journey is a testament to her unwavering commitment to fashion, philanthropy, and female empowerment. Her creations and her foundation's work continue to make a profound impact on the lives of countless women, both in the United States and around the world.