Chatting with Tory Burch
Dare I say it? Tory Burch is a farm girl. This totally down-to-earth and lovely feminine fashion phenom actually did grow up on a huge farm in Pennsylvania. These days, you can’t miss her famous Reva ballerina flats (named after her mom) adorning sidewalks everywhere. She is inspired by old movies, art, the 1960s and trendsetters such as Audrey Hepburn. From dressing Olympic hopefuls to rock stars to everyday fashionistas, Burch has taken her place in fashion’s hall of fame with her trademark double-T logo, unique prints, vibrant hues and those to-die-for tunics, handbags and sensational shoes. Where’s my credit card?
STEPHANIE SAYFIE AAGAARD: When you were a little girl, did you ever dream you’d be a fashion powerhouse?
TORY BURCH: Absolutely not. I grew up on a farm with my family and was addicted to sports.
You’ve recognized your parents as your style icons. What was the most poignant thing they did to influence you?
My parents always dressed up at night when they were going out. My dad designed all the clothes he wore and I still have a photo of my mom in a gold lamé Zoran.
You have conquered the fashion world. What’s next?
We’re just starting. There’s so much to do. We’re expanding with our first store in Japan. We are also expanding into eyewear and we’ve worked hard to make them unusual. The great thing is that they’re around $200.
Orange is everywhere, from your clothing to the walls of your boutiques. Why orange?
Orange is a happy color. It has been my favorite color since I was a child.
What should every woman have in her closet?
A trench coat.
How about in Miami?
A great pair of jeans.
What would you be if you weren’t a designer?
A social worker. In fact, I started the Tory Burch Foundation and our mission is to empower women economically. We did a CD for charity with the proceeds benefiting the Save the Children foundation.
What’s your best night out on the town?
A great movie and sushi. There’s nothing like a great movie.
When I say Oprah, what comes to mind?
Inspiring. Being on that show in our first year of business changed our company. We attribute a lot to her. [After being declared “the next big thing in fashion” on The Oprah Winfrey Show in April 2005, Tory’s clothing line took off. Burch’s online site reportedly received more than seven million hits after the show.]
What’s your greatest indulgence?
Caviar. I love caviar.
What have you never done but would love to?
I have never been to Africa. I would like to take my boys on a safari. Hello, Gossip Girl. Your divine threads are worn on this show constantly, and you recently made a cameo. They re-created my entire office down to the picture of my kids for my one line. I did about 10 takes for that line. Blake Lively is a really special girl.
PHOTOGRAPH BY ZACH HYMAN/PATRICKMCMULLAN.COM