In Praise of Tory Burch
A brand happy to be itself
Tory Burch is a household name, primarily due to her logo flats. This sort of fame in the fashion industry is a double-edged sword. Impressive sales and critical success do not go hand-in-hand; oftentimes, they’re at opposition.
But do not sleep on Tory. Yes, she has a clear vision — both of who she is and who her clothes are for. Over the years, this focus has steadied. Perhaps she’s narrowing in on what she wants to wear. She has also managed to find a sweet spot both commercial and industry-relevant. This can be a real tightrope: Do a 180 and you’ve just confused the hell out of your fans; stay the same and you’re boring.
As with the new Oscar de la Renta, it is okay to not be revolutionary. Let Hood by Air and Vetements reign as the names that rip open dialogues with every deconstructed neckline; let them freak people out in that why-I-love-Fashion way with their addictive adrenaline surges of mind-play. Let Gucci, Prada, Céline and Balenciaga establish the sure-to-trickle-down trends. Everyone has a purpose in this very weird and delightful ecosystem of an industry. It may be a saturated market that sometimes begs the question, “Did we really need another X,” but for varying opinions and real talent, there is a lot of room.
Mixed within that eclectic decor is Tory Burch Fall 2017: a brand happy to be itself. The label’s monogram is stitched in giant, tongue-in-cheek cursive letters on ivory twill hips and satin stock ties. This season is inspired by Katharine Hepburn’s character in The Philadelphia Story and reflects on Tory’s own familial quilt, which means it is handsome, East Coast preppy, slightly equestrian and a bit lock-jawed with an invisible gin and tonic in hand.
That kind of aspirational American wealth doesn’t have the same magazine-glossed shine that it used to. We dress for the job we want, sure, but also for the lives we lead. Despite Instagram filters and that whole social-media-lies argument, we’re living in the age of the hoodie. There is a pressure to be exactly who we are, commuter sneakers and all. Well, here is the authentic Tory Burch. Eternally tethered to a pair of logo flats yet in no way the doormat beneath them, every bit the welcome sign for anyone who happens to walk by and acknowledge that, actually, Tory Burch’s clothes are good.
Photos via Vogue Runway; Feature Photo via Getty Images.