With 82 stores worldwide and 35 more slated to open next year, Tory Burch will jet off to Dubai later this month for a store opening there. She also plans to launch a sport line in the near future.
These were two bits of news from Burch’s conversation Wednesday night at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York with CNN’s Alina Cho. The Met’s Emily Rafferty, Soledad O’Brien, The Costume Institute’s Harold Koda and Andrew Bolton, Carly Cushnie and Michelle Ochs and Susan Magrino were among those listening in when Burch described how in eight years she has built a brand that is valued at $2 billion.
This story first appeared in the November 16, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Sport is one category that she and her team hope to get to down the road. Wearing a brocade Prada jacket and carrying one of her latest handbags, Burch didn’t sugarcoat that some of her personal favorites from the runway often fall flat on the sales floor. “A lot of my favorite pieces don’t sell. That’s the difference between fashion and business. It’s a fine line,” she said.
Here, some highlights of the question-and-answer event:
ON HER LEGAL BATTLE WITH HER FORMER HUSBAND, CHRIS BURCH
“At the end of the day, my priority is with my business and my children. I have six children with Chris that he and I care about and that’s what I think about. But also [there is] my team that I look at and I think this is extraordinary what we have built together. My focus is finding a solution and hopefully we will get there and then we will be better for it at the end.”
THE LIKELIHOOD OF AN INITIAL PUBLIC OFFERING
“It’s not something I’ve ever thought about clearly and it’s not going to happen anytime soon. I am personally not ready to be a public [chief executive officer]. Privacy [is what I would lose.] I am not saying exactly that one day it won’t happen but for now it’s not in the cards.”
ON THE NAYSAYERS
“I think they said it was a vanity project, you know, I was a socialite starting a company. They never thought it would last beyond a few seasons. It was fine. I never knew where it would be either and I never imagined we would be where we are.”
KNOWING YOUR AUDIENCE GEOGRAPHICALLY
“In Brazil, our bathing suits tend to be half the size. When I was in Brazil, I couldn’t go out in a bathing suit. It was like I was wearing this enormous suit. Women wear the tiniest suits. It’s a learning curve. You see what works and what doesn’t.”
ON THE BRAND’S DAVID HICKS-INSPIRED LOGO
“It has been incredibly important. It’s amazing the way it has resonated in Asia and in Europe. You also have to be protective with it.”