The idea of “empire building” gets bandied about a lot, but there’s no other way to describe what Tory Burch has done with her eponymous luxury fashion label. Burch’s signature ballet flat and recognizable double-T logo defined the aughts, making the designer and her business a household name. Years later, the brand is referenced in songs, and even more of its pieces, like the Miller sandal, have reached cult-favorite status. Now, as ever, the designer, founder, and executive chairman is focused on designing a timeless wardrobe and investing in women.
“When I left my job in fashion and PR, I knew I wanted to help women and children. I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of marrying business and purpose,” she tells Cut editor-in-chief Lindsay Peoples on this week’s episode of the In Her Shoes podcast. “The plan was to start a global brand so that we could start a foundation, and I was basically laughed out of the room by potential investors and people telling me I shouldn’t look at anything business or social-related in the same sentence. I went back to my gut, and it was through the process of starting the company that I learned how to design.”
Through vintage design inspiration and filling in the gaps in her wardrobe, Burch created her customer with tailored fits for every woman. On the heels of her New York Fashion Week show, the designer is just as focused on where women are wearing clothes as she is on how they’re wearing them. After years in the industry, Burch is well acquainted with many of the challenges women face in the workforce, from a lack of networking and investment to a lack of mentorship, and aims to address them with the Tory Burch Foundation. She spoke to the Cut about ambition, opportunity, and having it all. “It’s a difficult concept. You go through periods in life where you do things better than others,” she explains. “Sometimes you can’t do it all and have everything happen all at once. Sometimes it’s about choices.”
To hear more about Burch’s creative reinvention, listen and subscribe for free on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen, below.