At Their Best

Exclusive interviews with local legends and legends-to-be, from Shane Victorino and Tory Burch to young actress Patricia Raven and beer guru Lew Bryson.

(page 8 of 9)

Designing Woman

Hailed as the “most influential designer in America” by the Los Angeles Times, Tory Burch has come a long way since her days at the Agnes Irwin School. It’s been only six years since the Valley Forge native debuted her namesake clothing line, which has since snowballed into a multimillion-dollar global fashion empire. Her clothing, shoes, handbags and accessories are sold in 24 freestanding Tory Burch boutiques throughout the United States and two international boutiques in Japan and the Philippines, along with more than 450 department stores and specialty stores. In May, she opened her first Pennsylvania boutique in King of Prussia Mall, which we’ve dubbed Best Hometown Fashion Statement. We caught up with Burch just days after the opening of her KOP outpost.

MLT: How does it feel to have a boutique in King of Prussia Mall?
Tory Burch:
It’s amazing. This is my hometown, and this is the same shopping center where I used to come when I was growing up. I’ve wanted to open a store here for a long time, so I’m completely thrilled.

MLT: What do you want the experience to be like in your new store?
We want to give our customers the best possible shopping experience. We want them to feel like they’ve walked into a living room that’s comfortable and welcoming. We have certain details—like the orange lacquer doors, white couches and moss-green flooring—that connect our boutiques here in the U.S. and overseas. But we try to mix in details that are special to that particular store and city. Everything from the music we play to the scent of the candles is a part of making our customers feel relaxed and at home.

MLT: What is it about your line that resonates with women in this area?
I think Philadelphia embodies that timeless, all-American style, and our collection is rooted in classic sportswear. When we design, we always have a chic, modern woman in mind. Our design team is made up of women from all backgrounds, of all shapes, ages and personal styles. Having that diversity of input is incredibly important.

MLT: Have you gotten used to being a household name?
Every time I see a woman wearing our clothes, I feel so flattered that they’ve chosen to wear something from our collection. I love going to different cities and seeing the different ways that women wear our clothes and accessories. Each has her own individual style and puts the pieces together in a unique way.

MLT: Tell us about your new summer line.
Sunglasses are still one of my favorite accessories, and are must-haves during summer and year-round. We also did a modern update of the backpack. Our Palma mixes luxe gold hardware with nylon. I also love our Sawla messenger bag.

MLT: What about fall?
We’re constantly inspired by fashion, art and the way these two worlds influence each other. While designing the fall collection, we envisioned a gallery girl who is an art enthusiast and has an interesting, unique way of putting things together—for instance, playing feathers against sequins and mixing utilitarian pieces with something more feminine. We also expanded our denim collection. The fit and cut are great.

MLT: How often do you get back to the Main Line area? Do you have any favorite spots?
My family still lives in the Philadelphia area, so I visit quite often. The Standard Tap (in Philadelphia) is a well-known local bar that serves the best roast chicken and mussels. I love the sushi at Blue Fin. The fish is so fresh, and chef Yong Kim’s recommendations are always delicious.

MLT: What’s next for Tory Burch?
I see us growing slowly and strategically, and continuing to focus on the needs of our customers. We are constantly expanding and growing our categories—like optical, denim, jewelry and children’s. We’re also growing our international presence by opening boutiques in Korea and, soon, London and Rome.

—Tara Behan

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