Tory Burch has come a long way since 2004. The designer’s eponymous clothing brand, founded nearly a decade ago, has bloomed into a lifestyle empire with corresponding home decor, fragrance and cosmetics collections — all done in the tastefully colorful, contemporary Palm Beach-infused style for which she’s now known. She’s graduated from a single, small boutique in New York City’s Nolita neighborhood to a stable of more than 100 international outposts. And this past year, she joined Forbes’ billionaire’s club – no small feat for a woman who’s never had formal design training. Last week, Burch continued her growth spurt with the opening of a new Beverly Hills flagship — her fourth in L.A. — smack dab in the middle of the ever-evolving Rodeo Drive. Here’s what we found when we toured the new digs.
The Structure: Situated directly across from Salvatore Ferragamo near the corner of Rodeo Drive and Brighton Way, the tri-level, 4,700-square-foot space is designed to mimic the inside of Burch’s personal Southampton hideaway. The clever branding strategy extends the label’s philosophy of accessible luxury that paints Burch as a sort of everywoman who just happens to get dressed in a multi-room closet with a hand-applied gold leaf ceiling. Nevertheless, the retail nirvana, which was conceived by Burch in conjunction with high-profile starchitect and interior designer Daniel Romualdez (recent projects include outfitting a Manhattan pied-a-terre for Mick Jagger and L’Wren Scott), is undeniably beautiful.
“All of our boutiques are designed with the location in mind; we thought about Los Angeles and wanted the space to reflect its eclectic sophistication,” Burch explains of the shop’s aesthetic, a paean to the sun-bleached glamour of vintage Southern California. Polished brass fretwork complements splashes of seafoam and navy – a color favored by Burch due to its classic appeal –on drapes, carpets and sofas. Framed black-and-white photographs of Burch’s parents, Buddy and Reva Robinson, line the lacquered and oak-paneled walls along with antique tile mirrors discovered by the designer in far-flung places including Morocco. The must-see spot, however, is the shop’s third-floor VIP wing and outdoor terrace: “It has an indoor-outdoor feel, with a living room and a working fireplace – a great space for entertaining,” Burch adds.
SITTING PRETTY: The Hamptons-inspired VIP room in Burch's newest L.A. outpost.
The Finds: On the ground floor, shoppers first encounter the brand’s recently debuted home decor line, a cornucopia of playful throwbacks that include the Lucite Rae serving tray ($295), a matching coaster set ($150) and a collection of kitschy needlepoint pillows ($145 and up). Also on display are the brand’s new fragrance ($62 and up) and cosmetics capsules ($32 and up) released in collaboration with Estee Lauder. Travel further into the abyss and discover what is perhaps the Holy Grail of contemporary preppiness — a mirrored shoe salon that’s filled with much more than the brand’s signature Reva ballet flats ($225 and up). Upstairs, the brand’s selection of handbags and ready-to-wear shines beneath gold chandeliers, and, as a bonus, the new store is the first location nationwide to carry the resort 2014 collection — a vibrant ode to Marrakesh in the ’50s featuring embroidered tunics, patterned shirtdresses and one-piece swimsuits such as the retro-inspired Lipsi ($225).
The Staff: In an effort to cater to an increasingly global clientele, the shop employs 38 staffers who speak a combined 13 languages. Impressive, for sure. And we were more than satisfied by the service we received when we stopped by — even though we hit the shop 20 minutes before closing on opening day (sorry, guys). Decked out in their finest Tory Burch duds, friendly staffers – many of them poached from competitors such as Lanvin and Neiman Marcus – eagerly greeted us before pointing out some of the shop’s best offerings.
GILDED: Burch's vintage California-tinged Beverly Hills exterior, courtesy of Architect and interior designed Daniel Romualdez.
The Standout: Burch is known for her bags, with stylish fans like Jessica Alba, Isla Fisher and Anne Hathaway regularly photographed hauling the totes around New York and Los Angeles. More recently, Drew Barrymore was seen covering her baby bump in a Burch-designed gown while being honored on Saturday's Baby2Baby gala. We could barely resist the urge to press our cheek against the supple embossed leather of the Thea snakeskin shopper ($535) – without a doubt the season’s must-have carryall.
366 N. Rodeo Dr., Beverly Hills. Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. 310-274-2394. toryburch.com.