Seeing a void in the market for stylish yet wearable clothing, Tory says she launched her own clothing line in 2004. After being declared "the next big thing in fashion" on The Oprah Winfrey Show in April 2005 , Tory says her burgeoning clothing line really took off. She now operates 12 stores and is in the process of opening seven more. In the future, Tory says she hopes to expand her line globally as well as branch out into home goods and fragrance.
Tory says she draws inspiration from her love of the '60s and '70s, vintage fashion and two of her favorite style icons—her parents. "Something about the effortless of dressing in that era is something that I really look to and look back on," she says. Modernized classics, ethnic details, beading, bold graphic patterns and her signature logo on items such as tunics and ballet flats keep the looks up to date, she says.
While Tory has no formal training in fashion design, her résumé includes stints at Ralph Lauren, Vera Wang, Harper's Bazaar and Narcisco Rodriquez, where she worked more on the business side. Her unconventional route to the top of the fashion world is just one testament to her success, she says. "It can be done," she says. "It's good to have a vision and have your vision be unique and stick to your vision."