08 May 2010

Designer of the Month May: Tory Burch

          The second you see that big circular golden T logo, your mind will instantly think of Tory Burch. Only discovered five years ago, Burch has made herself one of the most successful and most recongnizable, yet not insanely priced, lines in history of fashion. Very much like the modern Coco Chanel, Burch has worked hard for this spot on fashion's highest pedestal. 

          Tory Burch was born in Valley Forge Pennsylvania in the year of 1967. She lived a very elite childhood, with being able to live on a marvelous thirty acre plot of land, where she could climb trees and play with her two older brothers, Robert and James. Some might say this is crazy, but Tory Burch was actually a tom boy! Her very fashionable mother would always struggle just getting Burch to where a dress. Who knew at the time that she would end up making them?

          Tory went to the highly prestigious Agnes Irwin school. There, she was known for being great at sports. Two of her favorite sports were Tennis, where she was Captain of her school's tennis team, and horse back riding, which Burch enjoyed greatly. Now, we know that Burch is a strong woman who can channel her love and ambition, then sports, now fashion, to almost anything she desires.
         Buddy and Reva Robinson, Tory Burch's beloved parents, were and still are a major impact on Tory's inspiration for her designs. Both her parent's,part of an elite social circle, were very fashion forward people. Her mom's closet was filled with glamourous garments and designer labels. Her dad had polished to perfection custom made suits and great ties. Every summer, Buddy and Reva went to Europe and on their departure there, Reva would take a brief stop in Morocco and pick herself up some beautiful tunics. Later, tunics would be one of Tory's signature items that would be her golden ticket to fame.

           Although Burch's parents were major inspiration, they weren't the only thing that inspires her to make beautiful clothing seen on celebrities galore. Fashion icon Audrey Hepburn and the time period of the sixties and seventies, also impacts Tory's fashion sense to what she wears out of the house to what she miraculously sketches.

           After graduating from High School, Burch attended U Penn. There she majored in art history, but more importantly discovered her love and desire for the fashion industry. A love and desire that would eventually make her over 200 million dollars in sales. A love and desire that she would eventually base her life around. A love and desire that would eventually sky rocket her to fame.
           Every job out of college that Tory Burch had were all part of the fashion industry. Like I said earlier, her mom Reva was very in style. She shopped at all of the designer stores frequently. One store that saw her come in and out all the time was Zoran, so when her daughter, Tory Burch, applied for a job there, she was sent straight into the PR department.

           After this tough but very educational job at Zoran, Burch moved on to be a copywriter for Ralph Lauren. There she also learned very much that would later help influence her successful career. After leaving Ralph Lauren, Burch returned to public relations at another big shot name, Vera Wang. There, she met her future husband, Chris Burch. 

           Tory and Chris Burch wed in 1996, which shot Tory to join her husband in high society status. Chris and Tory had three boys together. Twins and then another boy. Chris also had three children from a previous marriage, so Tory had her hands full and took a break from working to become a full time mom. 
            Although Tory loved being a full time mom, she began to have the longing to jump right back into the fashion scene. She couldn't stand just watching it from afar. Something that motivated her immensely to jump right back into her passion was an inspirational commercial about following your dreams that was repetitively shown on t.v. So, Tory decided to do just that. Follow her dreams into fashion design. 
             Just like woman fashion designer legend Coco Chanel, the man in Tory's life(husband Chris Burch) financed her with most of the money she needed to have to start her very first collection. Tory worked vigorously for eight months, night and day on her first collection, transforming her dreams from paper to tangible masterpieces that anyone would be proud of. 
             In 2004, Tory's dream came true. She opened the Tory Burch Line.  Because of her many connections in the fashion world from PR, social class, and good fashionable friends, her opening day of the store was filled with everyone from New York City Socialites to Hollywood Starlets. No wonder that every article of clothing, from every ballet flat to tunic was sold out by the end of her very FIRST DAY of being in business. Something that makes Tory Burch's line so appealing is that she has great quality but not overly expensive clothing that any women could wear.

             In March of the Year 2005, a friend of Oprah gave one of Tory Burch's tunics to her as a gift and Oprah fell in love with Tory's amazing collection and became her number one fan. Oprah loved her tunics(one of Tory's signature pieces) so much that she brought Tory on her show and made her and her line an overnight fame. The day after the show aired her website got eight million hits and she sky rocketed to being part of the high end level of fashion lines. Another fact that proved this was that also in 2005, Burch beat many great collections and won the rising star award for best new retail concept. Her career was now sealed to be a successful one.

            Something that seems to happen a lot of times is that when you are at your ultimate high in your career, your personal life hits a rough bump(i.e Sandra Bullock). This happened with Tory. In 2006, after ten years of blissful marriage, her and her husband sadly divorced after rumors were whirling that Tory was having an affair. Although now not married, Tory and Chris still remained friends, which is generally tough for couples to succeed.

             Three years ago, in 2007, Tory won another prestigious award, the accessory brand launch of the year, from the accessories council of excellence. In 2008 she won another award yet again! This time, it was from the CDDA for accessory designer of the year. 

               Although Tory is so wrapped up with runway shows and parties and her kids, she still has time for something else. This is charity. Tory founded The Tory Burch Foundation. This is a non-profit organization that provides micro loans and other types of financial support to women and their families who are in deep poverty in the United States. A beautiful necklace that Tory Burch designed that %100 of the proceeds go to The Tory Burch Foundation is this leather world charm necklace($350). 

                A list of some celebrities that are spotted wearing Tory Burch are: Prince, Oprah Whinfrey, Blake Lively, Isla Fisher, Dakota Fanning, Anne hathaway, Miley Cyrus, Katherine Heigl, Hillary Swank, Viola Davis, Molly Sims, Rachel Weisz, Halle Berry, Leightin Meester, Lauren Conrad, Elizabeth Hasselbeck, and Coco Rocha.

A site that helped me greatly with obtaining information about Tory Burch was:

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