Tory Burch on the Business of Design

Designer presents Spring 2012 collection at the Field Museum

Talk to anyone who's "made it" in their industry and you'll get a different story about how they got there.

So it goes for the fashion design world, where there's no set blueprint for success.

Designer Tory Burch worked at design magazines before starting her own collection in her New York apartment in 2004. Some early buzz and an Oprah endorsement helped launched her into her position as one of the most successful designers in the country, with placements in high-end departments stores and 26 stand-alone boutiques.

Burch grew up in the Philadelphia area, and although she moved to New York to start her career, she doesn't think that's a necessary step for a young designer.

"I don't think you need to think about going anywhere. I think Chicago's a great place to start any collection and I think people are taking note of the fact that fashion is becoming very important here," Burch says.

Burch was in Chicago last week to present her Spring 2012 collection at the Field Museum. It was a collaboration with American Express, made available exclusively to card holders.

It also speaks to Burch's business sense -- something designers also need to think about.

"I can see arguments for both, but I think how it has helped me is that I do care about whether it sells or not, and that's something that's important. If it's not going to sell, it's not going to build a business, so for me I'm very interested in the design aspect, but I'm also interested in the business," Burch says.

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