Designer Tory Burch was honored as one of Glamour’s 2011 Women of the Year for her achievements in the fashion industry. When she first started her line in 2004, she confessed, “I had a five-year plan of three stores.” Now, her $330-million-a-year brand has been seen on high-profile women like Taylor Swift and First Lady Michelle Obama.
Burch has far exceeded her expectations in 2011 as she added 18 new stores to her existing 46, including her beloved flagship on Madison Avenue in New York City. Even more impressive, industry insiders have predicted that Burch’s 2011 revenue will make a whopping 52 percent leap.
Despite her overwhelming success, Burch has remained humble. “I see myself as a tomboy who grew up on a Pennsylvania farm and who has three kids,” she says. “I never went to design school.”
But that didn’t stop her from becoming a fashion icon. Her well-received items like the tunics and her signature logo ballet flats had fashionistas the world over scrambling for their own – including media stalwart Oprah, who was one of Burch’s earliest supporters and promoters.
And she doesn’t stop there! Her Tory Burch Foundation forged a partnership with microfinance organization Accion USA to offer loans and mentoring to American women. “One reason I started the company was so I could build something that would be about women and children,” explained Burch. “Women are the best investment. You see the hardships they’ve been through and how they’ve overcome. They inspire me.”
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