LOS ANGELES — Tory Burch didn’t let a little thing like a missing door stop the opening of her Tory by TRB store on Robertson Boulevard here.
Of course, there were missing mirrors and other fixtures, too. Nonetheless, Burch was unfazed.
“I don’t get frazzled,” the designer said. “What can you do? I love how the store turned out and am thrilled to be in L.A.”
Guests, many clad in Burch’s recognizable patterned tunics, were none the wiser last Thursday as they crowded into the 2,000-square-foot store near Third Street and Robertson to shop and drink southsides (blended vodka and mint), nibble on sushi and check out tunics, caftans, espadrilles and beach bags. Goodie bags were Tory by TRB beach mats.
Burch, who has three children and three stepchildren, said picking the location was a “gut decision.” The street draws foot traffic from neighbors such as The Ivy restaurant and boutiques such as Lisa Kline, Madison, Kitson, Curve and the reopened shoe salon, Diavolina. The store, Burch’s second after one in New York, will be followed by a unit at Phipps Plaza in Atlanta in August.
The space, with its avocado-colored carpet, high-gloss lacquered orange shelves and leopard-print ottomans, lends a contemporary nod to the Sixties and Seventies, which have influenced the designer. It is similar to the New York store, although Burch changed some elements, such as adding driftwood lamps to give it a more Los Angeles vibe.
“This is the first time I’ve worn her,” said Cheryl Tiegs, who was considering a khaki-colored caftan for $465 and was dressed in Burch’s light blue vintage linen tunic with beading. “It’s so classic and comfortable, and I love the Moroccan influence.”
Prices for Burch’s midpriced line are equally as appealing to customers. The collection ranges from $35 to $95 for tank tops to tunics for $250 to $800. Just a few specialty items hit the $1,000 mark.
Burch is a newcomer to design, and made the debut of her line in February 2004 at her flagship on Elizabeth Street in Manhattan’s NoLIta district. But with Bergdorf Goodman as her first wholesale client, the newcomer had no problems building her brand. And in the ultimate nod of arrival, Oprah Winfrey named her “the next big thing in fashion” during a segment of her TV show last month.
“I thought they had the wrong person when they called me,” said Burch of the endorsement. “But our business has been phenomenal since.”
Burch’s decision to open in Los Angeles was based on a trunk show she did last year, hosted by five girlfriends including socialites Jamie Tisch and Crystal Lourd.
To honor Burch’s Los Angeles arrival and the opening, Tisch was host for a private poolside dinner party at her Beverly Hills home, where the guests included Lourd, Angela Janklow and Tom Arnold.
“I wasn’t sure how L.A. would respond to the collection,” Burch said. “But we did almost $80,000 in four hours.”
Except for some of the heavier, winter-friendly pieces, the offerings at both stores will remain largely the same, said Burch. “I will test the market and see what’s working and what’s not.”
And in perfect Los Angeles style, Burch will be adding a line of jeans, done by Los Angeles-based denim line Habitual.