At a meeting with the company’s president, Brigitte Kleine, she mulls over locations for a boutique in Ginza while nursing a red Blow Pop (it’s Employee Appreciation Week, and candy is everywhere), then leaps up to take her mother to a doctor’s appointment.Back an hour later, she reviews composite stones from Jaipur, suggests adding iridescent Lurex yarn to an oatmeal sweater, and proposes barrettes in lilac tulle at a ready-to-wear design meeting for the main line.To those hoping to decipher Tory Burch through two decades of photographic tea leaves—her avian frame tucked into a meticulous evening gown, her narrow neck ringed in gems—or who feel they know her from the nostalgia-steeped, ladylike, just-bohemian-enough clothing line she helms, it may come as something of a surprise to learn that she is, at her core, a jock. It’s the end of a long day that began, as most do for Tory Burch, at a.m., and as she sinks into a plump sofa in the pea-green drawing room of her home in the Pierre hotel and squeezes a tiger-striped velvet cushion between her knees, she lobs the ball back at me. ”For Tory to admit to taking pleasure in winning would be to abandon the decorous reserve that is as essential to her character as the gold medallion is to her iconic Reva ballet flats.But if you grew up with Tory on Philadelphia’s Main Line, where as the captain of the varsity tennis team at the Agnes Irwin School for girls she had a two-handed topspin backhand that was a kill shot, or if you have played at her garden court in Southampton, Long Island, steps away from the Jazz Age neo-Georgian mansion where she spends summer weekends, then you already know that Tory plays to win. It’s hard to empire-build politely, but she has managed it, delivering one of the world’s most successful fashion brands, now valued at around .5 billion, in little more than a decade.I’m not a big believer in signs, but there’s this Gemini dichotomy: Although I’m a shy person, I think I’ve always been attracted to risk.If I’m not taking chances, if I’m not a little bit out of my comfort zone, I get bored.”Next month, testifying to that restless imagination, she launches a new brand called Tory Sport, a collection of stylish tennis ensembles, sleek tracksuits, surfwear, golfwear, and all manner of avant- and après-sport clothes.Tory waxes lyrical about bonding and seam-sealing, windproofing and waterproofing, and indeed stealth functionality is everywhere—interior zip pockets, reflective piping, UPF fabrics.The styles skew old-school, but the technology is state-of-the-art.
All summer long, literally, her hair is wet.”Of course, has lately become a fashion buzzword, a term intended to embrace the kind of clothing that a woman might be able to wear at work, to the gym, and then to dinner.She runs upstairs for a visit with an executive from the U. Olympic Committee (dressing athletes may be in her future), then down again to supervise the shoot of the Tory Sport lookbook.“Can we get the lighting to feel like a Rineke Dijkstra photo? All around the room, clothing racks are hung with tracksuits, bombers, and piqué polos.But it’s a complete surprise to me that it’s become what it is.And being the face of the company is a superhard thing for me.