Elysian salutes the designer who emboldened us with color, dazzled us with affordable luxury, and assured us that ‘ambition’ is NOT a dirty word.
When she launched her line in 2004, Oprah called Tory Burch the “next big thing in fashion.” And sure enough, within a decade Tory Burch’s company was valued at a billion dollars. The sunglasses, the fragrance, the flats, the caftans. Tory Burch’s designs are everywhere, but somehow they still seem fresh, upbeat, and integral to the personal style of every woman who wears them. We could probably come up with a billion reasons why we love Tory Burch, but we’ll start with seven:
We know that New Yorkers love to wear head-to-toe black, but Tory — who got her start as a fashion copywriter under the tutelage of Vera Wang and Narciso Rodriguez — isn’t afraid of go bright. Her color-blocked dresses, vibrantly hued handbags and blazing hot swim suits have given us the fortitude to break from our neutral sheaths and experiment with something a little more cheerful.
1. Bianca Dress | $698 | shopbop.com
2. Sasha Dress | $798 | shopbop.com
3. Mya Dress | $358 | shopbop.com
1. Ella Printed Tote | $198 | shopbop.com
2. Colorblock Tassel Crossbody | $298 | shopbop.com
3. Robinson Printed Shoulder Bag | $398 | shopbop.com
1. Flounce Ruffled Triangle Bikini | $102.50 | net-a-porter.com
2. Meadow Folly Printed Swimsuit | $260 | net-a-porter.com
3. Geometric-Print Swimsuit | $198 | saksfifthavenue.com
True style doesn’t depend on the frivolous dictates of style forecasters or change with the wind. Sure, you adjust seasonally, and you curate and evolve your wardrobe regularly. But you follow your internal cues, adhering to what flatters rather than running after trends. Unique style is timeless style. That’s Tory Burch.
1. Costa Jumpsuit | $428 | saksfifthavenue.com
2. Bettina A-Line Silk Midi Dress | $209.40 | saksfifthavenue.com
3. Fleming Bucket Bag | $498 | shopbop.com
4. Sophia Dress | $498 | shopbop.com
5. Hollis Baja Tunic | $498 | shopbop.com
That four-sided T on the shoes has a certain heft to it. The caftans are meticulously embellished with beads and embroidery. The handbags are fully lined and intelligently engineered. Take a close look at Tory Burch’s designs, and you will see that she does not skimp on the finishings.
1. Chelsea Python-Embossed Ballet Flats | $258 | saksfifthavenue.com
2. Chelsea Leather Pump | $278 | saksfifthavenue.com
3. Metal Miller Slides | $228 | saksfifthavenue.com
1. Ariana Embellished Caftan | $1,300 | net-a-porter.com
2. Alcott Beach Caftan | $298 | saksfifthavenue.com
3. Geo Printed Caftan | $330 | net-a-porter.com
1. Brooke Leather Hobo Bag | $598 | saksfifthavenue.com
2. Block T Leather Tote | $458 | saksfifthavenue.com
3. Small Brook Embellished Hobo Bag | $418.60 | saksfifthavenue.com
Most designers have a muse—imaginary or otherwise—who they design for, and the clothes reflect an idealized woman with a specific lifestyle, from a certain age group and geographic location. Marc Jacobs has his waifs. Proenza Schouler has their It Girls and Donatella Versace has her opulent goddesses. But Tory Burch’s clothing and accessories seem to pop up on everyone, from high-schoolers (hello, Gossip Girl) to chic grandmothers, and everyone in between. We can’t explain the phenomenon; we’re just recognizing it.
1. Veronica Maxi Dress | $240 | net-a-porter.com
2. Hermosa Wrap Skirt | $140 | net-a-porter.com
3. Marissa Top | $120 | net-a-porter.com
4. Kellen Striped Pants | $250 | net-a-porter.com
5. Stella Midi Dress | $300 | net-a-porter.com
Tory Burch is luxury, and luxury does not come cheap. On the other hand, the level of quality and design that you receive for your purchasing price far exceeds her competitors, a-hem we’re not mentioning any names. And a Tory Burch design will stay in your wardrobe’s heavy rotation for years, so there’s never any buyer’s remorse. That’s what we mean by value. Even your accountant won’t balk when he sees all the Tory Burch purchases on your credit card receipts.
1. Taylor Cashmere Sweater | $330 | net-a-porter.com
2. Sara Jersey Pants | $260 | net-a-porter.com
3. Half-Moon Mini Leather Satchel | $495 | saksfifthavenue.com
4. Ruth Wrap Skirt | $330 | net-a-porter.com
5. Sienna Woven Slippers | $300 | net-a-porter.com
Funny thing about clothing designers: they are creating items with an obvious utilitarian function — i.e. to cover the body — and yet comfort so often takes a backseat to style. Tory Burch is a busy entrepreneur and working mom. Multitasking to achieve style AND comfort is no big deal for her. She just gets it done.
1. Margeaux Cardigan | $198 | saksfifthavenue.com
2. Jasmine Silk Dress | $149.40 | saksfifthavenue.com
3. Christie Maxi Dress | $790 | net-a-porter.com
4. Kerry T-Shirt Dress | $228 | shopbop.com
5. Amy Cotton Top | $268 | saksfifthavenue.com
Commitment to Women
We are firm believers that doing well and doing good should go hand-and-hand, and Tory Burch clearly concurs. She is a dedicated philanthropist, and we could go on and on about all the amazing things she does, but we’ll give you the Cliff notes and you can take it from there. The Tory Burch Foundation provides millions of dollars in funding and guidance to female entrepreneurs. Her Embrace Ambition Summit earlier this year in New York City was a groundbreaking seminar on the societal stigma against women and ambition. She is on the board of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and the Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Center. For all that she has done and all that she will do in the future, Tory Burch, we salute you!