WAY OUT WEST: Tory Burch and Neiman Marcus fashion director Ken Downing should consider a tour. The duo delighted fans at Neiman Marcus at The Galleria in Houston last week with fashion insight, personal stories and quick quips during a relaxed fashion presentation. The crowd of Burch devotees, some of whom took their shoes off for her to sign, shopped the fall collection, getting a little styling advice from Downing along the way.

Confessing she loves a girl who “rocks a bow,” Burch sent day-to-night ensembles down the runway and then highlighted key navy and black combos for holiday. “The first two years we only offered navy,” Burch said. “There was no black.”

This story first appeared in the November 9, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Describing her clothes as English countryside meets glamour, Burch said she has the same challenges as the women who wear her clothes. “I have to figure out how to be a great mom and a business person. Being a mom always comes first,” Burch said. Proving designers are real people too, Burch said she is always losing her sunglasses, so it’s a relief she can just go into her own collection and grab a new pair. It’s one reason why she keeps her sunglasses affordable, at around $160 a pair.

And like most parents, Burch is always looking for down time. She and her three boys are spending the holidays in Myanmar, and the solitude is the greatest gift Burch is looking forward to this year.

“There’s no cell service. It’s going to be pretty basic and I couldn’t be any happier,” Burch said.

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