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NEW YORK — Tory Burch has made a name for herself in the last two years with her contemporary sportswear that has a preppy and bohemian flair.
Now the well-heeled New Yorker is aiming to claim a bigger stake in the $30 billion accessories field by amping up her assortment of shoes, bags, jewelry, belts and cold-weather goods. She is also in talks to launch an eyewear collection.
“It’s always been important to me that [my line] be a lifestyle concept,” said Burch, who explained that accessories were the next natural step.
Starting this fall, accessories will make up 25 percent of the business, as opposed to the current 12 percent, according to Brigitte Kleine, president of Tory Burch. The firm’s accessories have included unconstructed, summery totes and fashion jewelry, as well as a footwear collection that began retailing this spring and comprises ballet flats and espadrilles.
Fall will mark a shift, however. Burch is now collaborating with footwear maker Vince Camuto to produce Tory Burch shoes. The collection of 23 styles ranges from a wool bouclé pump with a logo appliqué at the toe to a riding boot done in rubber and leather.
For handbags, Burch is going for more intricate leather styles, including a constructed polished
calfskin satchel that is finished with a large gold medallion bearing the brand’s logo, and a brown suede messenger bag accented with long suede fringe. The handbag collection has about 10 styles. For this spring, the firm intends to grow its offering to 24 styles.
Burch is also manufacturing fashion jewelry on her own for the first time. In the past, she worked with jewelry firms M+J Savitt or Erickson Beamon to produce the brand’s jewelry. Styles include long necklaces with large, vintage-looking beads and silver and gold molded cuff bracelets, for a total of 18 looks. A smattering of beaded belts and cold-weather accessories, such as printed goatskin scarves and shearling aviator hats, round out the mix.
Wholesale prices for bags range from $185 to $275, while jewelry and cold-weather accessories average around $50 to $150. Shoes wholesale from $110 to $155.
“We decided to go with shoes first and just delivered our ballerina flat to stores,” Kleine said. “In one week, we sold 400 pairs. Tory’s vision has always been to do a great product that isn’t in the market right now.”
This story first appeared in the May 8, 2006 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The accessories will be sold at Bergdorf Goodman, Nordstrom and Holt Renfrew, and the shoes will be sold at Bergdorf’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom and about 30 specialty stores. All of Burch’s wares will be sold at the company’s four boutiques, in New York, Los Angeles, Dallas and Atlanta. The brand is in the process of retrofitting its current stores to better display the accessories.
The firm also is opening a store in South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, Calif., in September, and is looking at Houston; Bal Harbor, Fla.; Las Vegas, and Greenwich, Conn., for additional freestanding stores.
“She’s a new, young talent entering the accessory world and I think she has excellent taste and a lot of potential,” said Neiman’s accessories fashion director, Sandra Wilson, who picked up Tory Burch shoes for fall.
Saks recently opened a Tory Burch in-store shop at its Fifth Avenue location here, and Bloomingdale’s is scheduled to open a 336-square-foot in-store shop at its flagship here in August.
“We’re always adding on to the collections and always responding to customers’ needs,” said Kleine. “[But] we’re a small team and we want to take it slow and have steady growth.”