“I love how quickly the landscape changes,” said Miki Berardelli, chief marketing officer of Tory Burch. “I’ve always been drawn to digital and what’s next.”
The digital world is an arena where Burch is one of the most innovative fashion companies around. The brand has never advertised but builds brand awareness via Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, video and its own Web site. It will launch its first ad campaign in October for its fragrance with Estée Lauder Cos.
Burch began in February 2004 with a store on Elizabeth Street in New York and a Web site. Today, it operates a wholesale and e-commerce business and 84 freestanding stores globally, generating close to $1 billion in retail sales, according to sources.
Berardelli, who oversees marketing, public relations and e-commerce globally, explained that the company grew up alongside the rise of the digital age and there was never a hurdle to embracing the new landscape.
“Stores and e-commerce were always at the forefront of the strategy,” she said. “We’ve never experienced silos or channel conflict. The customer moves between them every day and sees Tory Burch as one brand. We work hard to understand what each channel does best for the customer. Digital is infused throughout the organization.
“We’re on many different platforms and treat each one differently,” she continued. “Instead of creating content and blasting out the same content across all of our social media platforms, we actually say, what’s best for Tumblr, what’s best for Pinterest.”
Berardelli, who’s also chairman of shop.org, the digital division of the National Retail Federation, is a graduate of the University of Iowa with a master’s degree in communication from Northwestern University. She started her career in Chicago at marketing communications firm McMillan Associates, where she developed her interest in database marketing. She then joined Direct Marketing Technology (now Experion North America), where she worked with such catalogue firms as J. Crew, Crate & Barrel and Bloomingdale’s by Mail.
“When e-commerce came about, it was an easy jump for me,” she said. “It was just a different medium. The rules of direct marketing were sort of the same.”
In 2002, she moved to Polo Ralph Lauren, working on the e-commerce business. “I was very focused on the customer and how the customer moves between channels,” she said. “I took on more of a multichannel role,” and ended up as senior vice president of the Polo Retail Group, where she worked with the designer’s stores, ralphlauren.com, factory stores, Rugby and rugby.com.
Berardelli joined Burch in 2009.
“I think what’s unique to Tory was the opportunity to build something because the company was so young,” she said. “The company will be 10 years old in February and I’ve been here nearly four years. There was a lot to do. I was drawn to the agility. The company is patient when it comes to decision making but moves very quickly, especially when it comes to building a brand and entering new markets. Everything is a team effort, so I have done nothing by myself.”
Tory Burch, chief executive officer and designer of Tory Burch LLC, said, “Miki is extremely smart and innovative — a truly valued member of our executive team. She has been instrumental in the growth of our brand, helping to build our e-commerce business and driving our digital strategy internationally.”
Berardelli worked with the team to reengineer the e-commerce business and the Web site. She also collaborated on pulling the commerce and the content together online. The team integrated The Tory Blog into a shopping experience on the Web site. The Web site is the number-one store and growing quickly, and expanding the e-commerce business internationally has been one of her key accomplishments.
“We’re shipping into 30 countries. We launched our European e-commerce business late last year so we are fully operational in France, Italy, Germany and the U.K.,” said Berardelli.
Burch also has a Japanese e-commerce site. The team has developed an app called Tory Daily, which leverages the brand’s blog content. It has a return visit rate of 80 percent and more than 300,000 people have downloaded it.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast