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Tory Burch is an American fashion designer, business woman, and philanthropist, who has won several fashion awards for her designs. As of 2014, she is listed as the 79th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes.

Family and education

Burch was born in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, the daughter of Reva and Ira Earl "Bud" Robinson (b. Jan. 6, 1923-d. Aug. 9, 2007).She was raised with her three brothers (Robert, James and Leonard) in a Valley Forge farmhouse, a 250-year old Georgian near the Valley Forge National Historical Park.

Her mother was an actress who dated both Steve McQueen and Marlon Brando. Her father, who was a wealthy investor, is now deceased. Her father inherited a stock exchange seat and a paper cup company. He dated Grace Kelly and Joan Bennett. Tory's father was fourteen years older than her mother. Burch is Jewish on her mother's side.

Burch attended the Agnes Irwin School in Rosemont, Pennsylvania, where she rode horses, was captain of the tennis team,and was a friend of jewelry designer Kara Ross (they remain friends today).Her first job was at Benetton in the King of Prussia Mall.She then attended the University of Pennsylvania, where she was a member of the women's sorority Kappa Alpha Theta. She majored in art history, and graduated in 1988.
Marriage and subsequent life

She was first married (1993, divorced within a year) to William Macklowe, son of real-estate tycoon Harry B. Macklowe.From 1996 through 2006, she was married to J. Christopher Burch,an investor in Internet Capital Group, a venture capital firm founded by Walter Buckley and Ken Fox. Although divorced from Burch, she continues to use his last name, and for some time continued to live with her children in their New York City apartment; she has three sons and three stepdaughters.She dated Lance Armstrong in 2007.More recently, she has been linked to Lyor Cohen.

In January 2013, Forbes magazine estimated that she is now a billionaire with a net worth of $1.0 billion.

Fashion career

Early work

After graduating from college, Tory moved to New York City where she worked for Zoran, a Yugoslavian designer,followed by Harper's Bazaar magazine. She then moved into public relations and advertising positions at Vera Wang,Polo Ralph Lauren and Loewe when Narciso Rodriguez was there.

Fashion label

Tory Burch logo design photographed from a shoebox in 2012

She began a fashion label, "TRB by Tory Burch"-later known as "Tory Burch", in February 2004. The company has grown to include over 120 Tory Burch stores worldwide, including flagships in New York, Los Angeles, London, Rome, Tokyo and Seoul, and ecommerce sites in seven languages.The companys Shanghai flagship, which launched in 2014, is its largest. The fashion line is also carried at over 3,000 department and specialty stores worldwide,including Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus Nordstrom and Bloomingdale's.

The brand launched with a store in the NoLIta neighborhood of Manhattan.
In April 2005, Oprah Winfrey endorsed her line on The Oprah Winfrey Show.In 2009, Tory Burch sold a minority stake in her company to a Mexican private equity firm, Tresalia Capital. Additional minority investors were added in December 2012 in conjunction with the settlement of a legal dispute between Burch and her ex-husband. This settlement is said to have removed a substantial obstacle to a forthcoming IPO, which has been the subject of considerable discussion in the financial and fashion industries.

In Fall 2013, Burch launched her first fragrance and a beauty capsule collection with Estée Lauder.

For the 2014 New York Fashion Week, the brand was the first to use Googles Lightbox, which is Googles custom brand exchange, to livestream video of the runway show.Brian Zeug, who is Googles industry director of branded apparel, was involved in the project.
Design style

Burch at 2007 Accessories Council of Excellence awards

Her style has been described as preppy-boho and preppy-bohemian luxeand is known for including her T-logo medallion.Some select styles of sunglasses, such as the Rounded Aviator, have the signature logo printed on the lens. Her styles are popular with the viewers and fans of the television show Gossip Girl, which they often appear on, and among different generations.Her style is known for being easy to wear and for being widely part of a versatile wardrobe.In 2007, there were wait lists to buy her fashions,which are representations of and homages to 1950s and 1960s styles.Burch named her line of Reva ballerina flats after her mother.

Film Appearances

In 2009, she appeared in the fourth episode of Gossip Girl season three as herself.

In 2008, she won the Council of Fashion Designers of America, as the accessories designer of the year.In 2007, she won the Accessory Brand Launch of the year award from the Accessories Council of Excellence.In 2005, she won Rising Star Award to Burch for best new Retail Concept from the Fashion Group International.In addition, Burch has consistently been included on Forbes list of "The Worlds 100 Most Powerful Women." As of 2014, she is listed as the 79th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes.