FASHION WEEK | Soon Tory Burch will celebrate her 20th birthday. The New York label has conquered the world by promoting social change: female empowerment, or the art of participating in the rise of women in all fields of power. With her “girl boss” silhouettes, strong women who also know how to relax on Sundays, Tory Burch reflects her unique style that everyone can recognize. On the occasion of New York Fashion Week, Forbes went to meet this ever-renewing fashion icon.
How did you capture the need for female entrepreneurs to wear half-armored, half-elegant outfits?
Tory Burch : As a woman who designs for women, I design each collection to help them feel beautiful and confident. The perfect cut, the drape of the fabric, the choice of one color over another: these details form the basis for self-expression. I love the idea that clothes can be a form of armor, whether you’re an entrepreneur, a mother, or a doctor.
How has the Big Apple influenced you and continues to inspire you?
TB: New York has been my home since college. The city is dynamic and remains the best place in the world for creativity and opportunity. I am inspired by New York women because they dress for themselves and embrace their individuality without following trends.
I always go back to the advice my parents gave me: “Negativity is noise.” You have to believe in yourself and follow your instincts
You add color to your customers’ lives by dressing them in all colors. So the Tory Burch woman has no trouble showing up to a strategic meeting in a flashy yellow dress?
TB: Dressing to please and feel empowered can mean wearing a bright color or a softer color that makes you feel confident. Classic corporate dress codes are now a thing of the past; I’m actually very happy that women are bringing more of their own personal style to the office.
What goals are you setting for yourself today? In a world where countless new creators are emerging, how far do you want to take your label?
TB: In many ways, I feel like I’m just getting started… The last five years have been like a reinvention. In 2019, my husband Pierre-Yves Roussel joined our company as CEO, which gave me time to focus solely on design. The change has been transformative both on a personal level and for our collections and our group. After 14 years of running the business, I can now focus on my passion: the creative process. Our collections today are closer to our foundations and I’m happy to see them resonating with our customers around the world.
I never think about what will happen next, I always try to live in the present, which makes me feel good right now.
You are one of the most powerful women in the fashion world. What is the best business advice you have been given? But do you also have leadership lessons?
TB: I always go back to the advice my parents gave me: “Negativity is noise.” You have to believe in yourself and follow your instincts. As a leader, I would like to think that I have grace, empathy, patience, and courage under pressure. I never give up! I’m also particularly good at surrounding myself with great people. My advice to other entrepreneurs? Company culture is important. Our company is inspiring, innovative and resilient because of the people who work here, and I never take that for granted.
I dream of dressing Cate Blanchett. His style is simple yet completely unique.
You use this status specifically to carry out charitable activities. What messages would you like to share with our readers?
TB: Doing good is good for business. Our company was motivated to move in this direction from day one, and although our hybrid model was still unique, it did not become widespread in 2004. Yes, there were many naysayers, but I believed in my vision and Tory Burch Foundation five years later. Every Tory Burch purchase supports our work to empower women, and to date our company has contributed more than $85 million to support our Foundation and women’s empowerment initiatives.
New York, London, Paris, Milan. Every Fashion Week these fashion capitals compete for the crown. Objectively, which scene do you think is the most inspiring and creative?
TB: I love Paris, but honestly I have to say New York too… I think it’s never been more vibrant, creatives are showing up regularly and revitalizing the industry. I enjoyed meeting and following many people Ashlyn Park And Rachel Scott from Diotima.
Apart from this endless excitement, what makes New York special?
TB: All ! Energy, diversity, creativity. New York has reinvented itself a thousand times; Her resilience constantly inspires me.
What did you want to express through your fashion show for the collection presented this Fashion Week?
TB: I wanted to instill a sense of lightness and calm in a chaotic world. We started with a calm palette, lightweight materials and circular stitching; Our bags and shoes are curved and ergonomic. I wanted to experiment with shape and structure, and we took elements that have historically ‘restricted’ women – corsets, crinolines, fishnets – to create new silhouettes that allow you to move freely.
Our zippered polo t-shirts, wide-leg trousers and shorts represent the flexibility of sports, combining simple shapes with innovative fabrics. These pieces have structure and volume, but they weigh almost nothing. The aim behind this design is to make them livable.
Are there any personalities you still dream of dressing?
TB: Actress Cate Blanchett. His style is simple yet completely unique.
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