I remember quite well when the brand Tory Burch made the news. I was in my early twenties, just starting at my first job as a social worker, reading Elle magazine on my lunch breaks. In the good old days, before social media hit the world by storm, Elle magazine was probably my first source to hear about the brand. Tory opened her boutique on Elisabeth street in NY in 2004, shortly after got featured on Oprah. From then on, the brand was everywhere. It was quite the story that a young woman, mother to three kids of her own, and three step kids, built a brand from the bottom up in a male dominated industry. Every fashion magazine out there wrote about Tory. She represented something for women all over the world. She represented independence. She represented freedom, she represented that anything was possible, any career. She represented that you could reinvent yourself from this day to the next.
I’m sure it wasn’t all that simple, but the representation of a mother of six that started her own business, it meant something to women worldwide. This was 20 years back, the world was a lot different back then. There was, and is still so much to overcome for women worldwide, but even more back then. She saw and embraced that need gracefully. In 2009 and took it to a whole new level too when she launched the Tory Burch Foundation, giving women tools, education and even financial loans to help them become entrepreneurs.
And so, my love for Tory goes way back. I think it was this last weekends spring weather that brought back the feeling of wearing her incredible kaftans. I’m a sucker for Moroccan inspired fashion and the brand Tory Burch does an amazing job of bringing back the vibes of the souks.
Maybe my nostalgia also comes from a combination of our recent spring weather and a video by Forbes I saw recently about struggling fashion brands trying to pivot their business around the pandemic. It’s no secret that revenues are being drastically cut, people are losing their jobs, people are taking pay cuts and businesses are closing.
The fashion and retail industry, is the second biggest industry in the US and good for 18.989 million jobs with a gross of 8,55 million people employed US fashion capital New York City alone. This includes designers, researchers, textile designers, people operating heavy machinery, sales. You get the picture. I can understand people that don’t have an affinity with fashion to shrug their shoulders, but the magnitude of this industry is so big, it affects families and people all over the world involved in the from bottom to top chain, when customers aren’t buying.
The brand like many other fashion brand has been using social media to their advantage to create a direct line with their customers, trying even more so to cater to the need of women all over the world to manoeuvre through this pandemic in the best way they possibly can.
Tory Burch the brand has the ambition to celebrate women an empower them by dressing them in beautiful prints and clothes. What I love about the brand that it also makes high fashion accessible to everyone because of the brands price points. Anyone can literally get Tory Burch if they wait for the sales. But the designs are also really made for every day women from every range of society. These clothes are stunning but at the same time they are wearable in every day life. You can get your kids to and from school in them and go to the office later or for a fancy after work drink. I feel like a lot of the brands ready to wear can pivot to be worn on different hours of the day on different occasions. Tory Burch is brand that really designes for women, to feel free to do whatever they want, and that is something huge. That is something so simple, but so easily forgotten by some other high end designer brands.
Tory is also one of the only CEO’s that insists on hiring women first, giving them the opportunity to balance their career with their motherhood and offering flexibility when it comes to prior engagements to their family. This makes Tory Burch as a CEO, as a brand, and as a company that putts community first, a leader in the industry.