Pete Nordstrom and Tory Burch


CHICAGO — At a reception for Tory Burch and her best customers and fans here last week, Pete Nordstrom, copresident of Nordstrom, revealed just how popular the designer really is.

“We have this very large business together and it’s been fantastic. In fact, last year the number-one search for a brand on was Tory Burch,” he said at the event, which was held in the lounge and terrace at Chicago’s The Gwen hotel, adjacent to Nordstrom Michigan Avenue.

Guests included blogger Jacey Duprie of Damsel in Dior; Sasha Adler, design director at Nate Berkus; stylist Annie Barlow — and one guest even flew in from Boston for the event.

“Our customers, you all love the brand,” Nordstrom said. “That’s been a great catalyst for us to say here’s an opportunity for us to do more even though we do have this big business. It’s in that spirit that we’re doing this with you guys here tonight. We’ve got pop-ups going on and some other interesting launches and things together. It feels like it’s a really exciting time as we grow this relationship.”

In addition to Chicago, Nordstrom is hosting the Tory Burch pop-ups, through March 26, at NorthPark, Houston, South Coast Plaza and Dadeland, but Chicago is the only city Burch visited personally.

“I hadn’t been here in a while. There are cities that I love; Chicago is one of them,” said Burch, wearing a colorful striped dress from her David Hicks-inspired spring collection. “I want to look at cities and think about how the world is changing and how do we think about our customer and come to them. I really love hearing what they have to say — it’s something that I would never be jaded about. Women have so many options now. It’s a much more saturated market now than it was when I started, but it’s also exciting.”

Burch launched her business in 2004, and now things are coming full circle with the Nordstrom pop-ups, which feature ready-to-wear, handbags, accessories and jewelry, and with her business as a whole.

Burch started her company to create a foundation for women, she said, and her upcoming summit, “Embrace Ambition,” on April 24 at Lincoln Center, has been long in the works.

“We’ve worked so hard to get here,” Burch said. “Now we are partners with Bank of America to give women low-interest capital, we’re partners with Goldman Sachs to give women education through a mini-business school, we have our own fellowship program, but at the end of the day we’ve worked on product. We could be doing everything, but if we don’t have the product it doesn’t matter. The product at the end of the day is something we have been focusing nonstop on. Less is more — less product, but product with more integrity.”






























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