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  • 08.18.14

How Tory Burch Measures Up Against Her Competitors

The affordable-luxury category, fashion’s fastest-growing, is dominated by ambitious, market-savvy brands.

How Tory Burch Measures Up Against Her Competitors
[Photos by Erik Madigan Heck, Hair by Jessica Gillin, Makeup by Berta Camal]
Illustrations by Ollanski

1. Tory Burch

Founder’s current role: CEO, creative director/designer
CEO: Burch
Founded: 2004
Headquarters: New York
Revenue in 2013: $800 million
Employees (in 2013): 2,000
Stores in the U.S.: 62
Notable collaborations: Estée Lauder, Fossil, Luxottica
Namesake’s net worth: $1 billion
Signature: Ballet flats with the iconic double-T medallion
Innovations in retail: Tory Daily, an app with all original content

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2. Michael Kors

Founder’s current role: Chairman, CCO and principal designer
CEO: John Idol
Founded: 1981
Headquarters: New York
Revenue in 2013: $3.31 billion
Employees (in 2013): 6,379
Stores in the U.S.: 264
Notable collaborations: Claiborne Swanson Frank, Estée Lauder, Goop
Namesake’s net worth: $1 billion
Signature: Handbag with the repeating “MK” logo
Innovations in retail: Obsessive social media presence; early adopter of Instagram ads

3. Kate Spade

Founder’s current role: None (Resigned in 2007)
CEO: Craig A. Leavitt
Founded: 1993
Headquarters: New York
Revenue in 2013: $743 million
Employees (in 2013): 2,500
Stores in the U.S.: 118
Notable collaborations: Gap Kids, Keds, Nixon watches
Namesake’s net worth: $200 million
Signature: Handbag with ornate, perforated patterns
Innovations in retail: Kate Spade Saturday locations replaced in-store signage with iPads

4. Marc Jacobs

Founder’s current role: Head designer
CEO: Bertrand Stalla-Bourdillon (LVMH group)
Founded: 1984
Headquarters: New York
Revenue in 2013: $1 billion (est.)
Employees (in 2013): 1,000+ *
Stores in the U.S.: 20
Notable collaborations: Sephora
Namesake’s net worth: $100 million
Signature: Tote bags with a comedic repetition of the Marc Jacobs name on them
Innovations in retail: At pop-up store, accepted payment for fragrance samples in social media posts

5. Donna Karan

Founder’s current role: Chief designer
CEO: Mark Weber (LVMH group)
Founded: 1984
Headquarters: New York
Revenue in 2013: N/A
Employees (in 2013): 1,300
Stores in the U.S.: 64
Notable collaborations: BaubleBar, Estée Lauder
Namesake’s net worth: $400 million
Signature: All-black palette
Innovations in retail: Testing a mobile app that works with ­­clothing-embedded sensors to direct customers to items in stores

Some figures courtesy of Fashion Business Intelligence.
*An exact number could not be verified.


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About the author

Jeff Chu writes on international affairs, social issues, and design for Fast Company. His first book, Does Jesus Really Love Me?: A Gay Christian's Pilgrimage in Search of God in America, was published by HarperCollins in April 2013.

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