How Tory Burch Became A Fashion Billionaire In Less Than A Decade

tory burch

Photo: AP

Less than a decade after she started a fashion brand in her kitchen, Tory Burch is officially a billionaire.Her eponymous fashion line, which includes high-end handbags and Reva ballet flats, is ubiquitous.

The designer’s bags, sunglasses and shoes are flying off the shelves at Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom and Saks. She’s competing with more established brands like Coach, Michael Kors and Kate Spade—and winning.

Burch’s company is now valued at more than $3.5 billion. 

Burch started her career a fashion copywriter. After her ex-husband, retail tycoon Christopher Burch, gave her $2 million, she began designing clothes in her kitchen. Before long, she had an important celebrity endorsement and soaring sales figures. 

We mapped out how Burch became a fashion billionaire. 

Tory Burch grew up in Philadelphia.

Her mother is a former actress, while her father was an investor. She graduated high school and attended the University of Pennsylvania.

Burch had a series of writing jobs before starting her fashion line.

She worked for Vera Wang, Ralph Lauren and Harper's Bazaar.

In 2004, she launched her New York City flagship boutique.

It's located in the retail mecca of NoLita. Pictured is her Madison Avenue store.

Then, in 2005, she launched

Her line was 'preppy-boho' and was credited with making T-shirts trendy again.

In 2005, Burch's business exploded after Oprah endorsed her.

Oprah, a fan of her work, called Burch 'the next big thing in fashion.'

In 2006, Burch invented the 'Reva' ballet flat.

The flats were an instant smash and would change women's casual and workwear.

In 2008, the Council of Fashion Designers of America named her the Accessory Designer Of The Year.

Burch beat out heavyweights like Michael Kors and Marc Jacobs.

The trendy cast often wears her designs.

In 2010, she launched a collection of sunglasses.

The line is now carried at Nordstrom and Saks.

In 2011, she made her New York Fashion Week debut.

Vogue reviewed her show and said: 'Bravo, Tory Burch, then, for brilliantly flying the flag for sparkling newness without forgetting that great clothes should feel joyful and uplifting without being entirely devoid of practicality.'

Today, Tory Burch's designs are all over the world.

Her brand is available at 49 free-standing Tory Burch stores across the U.S., 24 international stores,, and over 1,000 select department and specialty stores worldwide.

Tory Burch ranked #2 on our list of the 50 Sexiest CEOs. Now learn about the other sexy CEOs.

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