A vintage tunic from a Paris flea market. Interior designer David Hicks' graphic style. American sportswear. A television commercial encouraging you to be bold and follow your dreams. The Tory Burch story could begin at any number of starting points. But delve deep and it really all goes back to her parents, Buddy and Reva Robinson, and a childhood in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.
There, on the outskirts of Philadelphia, Tory grew up a tomboy, climbing trees and playing in the backyard with her three brothers. Her parents were consummate entertainers, serving lunches on the poolside porch, all fretwork and white lattice, and always with fresh flowers on the table. Then there were their travels — Marrakech, Athens, Capri… Photos of Buddy and Reva in the Sixties and Seventies would prove endlessly inspiring, he in his loafers and Hermès scarf-lined jackets and she, channeling bohemian glamour in her long caftans.
By the time Tory launched with a small boutique in Nolita in 2004 — after graduating with a degree in art history and working for designers Ralph Lauren, Vera Wang and Narciso Rodriguez at Loewe — her exacting eye for that era was set.
And now it was coupled with the energy and spirit of New York to create a design vision that was uniquely hers, one that resonated worldwide from a hit ballet flat and tunics inspired by that flea-market find to the stores themselves, with her vibrant interiors.
Over the years, the brand has grown into a global business with more than 200 boutiques from New York to Paris and Shanghai, as well as websites in North America, Europe and Asia. And in 2015, Tory launched Tory Sport, a collection inspired by the grace and strength of athletes, balancing high-tech functional fabrics with a classic/retro vibe. The story unfolds on the entrepreneurial front, too, with the 2009 launch of the Tory Burch Foundation. Its aim has always been one central to Tory: after realizing her dream of starting a company, she wanted to give back and support women entrepreneurs.