Tory Burch began her business in 2004 with a small boutique in Manhattan’s Nolita neighborhood, and since then the brand has grown into a global business with more than 100 freestanding stores, toryburch.com and a presence in more than 1,000 department and specialty stores.
Tory Burch was born in 1967 in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. She attended the University of Pennsylvania for Art History. She never used her degree and after graduation worked for major fashion labels, such as Ralph Lauren and Vera Wang. Although she never designed clothing, she opened her own fashion line in 2004.
She first become a copywriter for Ralph Lauren, which she left in 1995 to work in Public Relations with Vera Wang. Before working at Vera Wang, she was briefly married to William Macklowe, son of New York real-estate mogul Harry Macklowe. At Vera Wang, she kept on running into Chris Burch, a venture capitalist 14 years her senior. They married in 1996 and during their honeymoon she became pregnant with her twin sons, Henry and Nick. Chris Burch had three older daughters—Pookie, Louisa, and Izzie—from a previous marriage. She later had a third son, Sawyer.
Her personal life hit a bump in the road in 2006, when Chris and Tory separated and filed for divorce. She has remained amicable with her former husband who still serves as CEO and Chairman.
A dedicated philanthropist, Tory launched the Tory Burch Foundation in 2009 to support the economic empowerment of women entrepreneurs and their families in the U.S. Through loans, mentorship and entrepreneurial education, the foundation invests in the success and sustainability of women-owned small businesses. Tory also serves on the boards of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, the Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, the Startup America Partnership and the Barnes Foundation.