TODAY

TODAY   |  September 26, 2013

Designer Tory Burch: ‘I learned on the job’

Fashion designer Tory Burch tells TODAY’s Savannah Guthriethat she didn’t let inexperience keep her from starting her company, which has grown into a mult-billion dollar enterprise in less than a decade.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> public. first, an entrepreneur with global clothings and accessories. first a look at how she has spun fashion goals.

>> it's the double t medallion that has women screaming. whether it's the clothing the jewelry or those iconic ballet flats you love, tory burch has more affordable prices. a multi-billion dollar brand cooked up ten years ago in the kitchen burch shared with her then husband chris burch . it opened and ten months later on an episode of oprah hit the big time with the midas touch there new york style center tory burch is hailed as the next ting in fashion.

>> the next day, she had 8 million hits online. travel hit at home. burch and her husband divorced, maintaining respectful relationship for the three sons and the company they shared together.

>> that is until 2011 when chris launched his own brand with a similar aesthetics. it sparked lawsuits. tory's company calls it a knockoff, chris claims claimed the two didn't compete, giving significantly lower prices. the two eventually settled out of course. since then, there has only been good news for burch , making world's billionaire's list, launching a line this month to rave reviews. now a staple of any successful designer brand, her very own fragrance and tory burch is with us now. good morning to you.

>> good morning.

>> let's let that soak in a moment. self-made billionaire. can you believe that?

>> no, i really can't. you know what, we have worked so hard, our company will be ten years in february. we have a great brand.

>> you had a billion dar company in less than ten years. are you the first to say you didn't start out with design experience, this was inspiration. a lot of women are watching this. they want to know how you did it?

>> i definitely learned on the job, i would say, if have you an idea, a unique idea, it's a lot of work, but you can do it.

>> you have expanded left and right. do you ever look at it and think, okay, what is too big? you don't want it to get out of your control, are you so much a part of what makes the prand special.

>> we think of it every time. every store we open. it's a lot of thought we're strategic. we've had so much rapid growth. it's been measured.

>> there have been highs and lows. we mentioned you had a legal battle with your ex-husband over his, really, did you hear about that? i guess the question is, i know you've settled it now. have you really moved on from it? are you two in a place where you are back to getting along and being respectful and this is behind you?

>> we really have. i never wanted a legal battle . so from the beginning, i always wanted to settle. we have six kids that we love and it's really behind us. it really is. we talk. we talk about the. he has his own businesses now.

>> so there is no hard feelings, you don't look at the success of c wonder and say gosh, that's a knockoff or a ripoff.

>> i always wanted chris to be a success. that was never a part of the conversation.

>> you had an unconventional path for a designer. i have to show a picture of you as a little girl . you kind of had the tory burch being then. you had a hand bag, let's show the picture of you coming up. i thought to myself, you never had one of those gotm phases, did you?

>> maybe number i never had the goth fachltz i wore a lot of grateful dead tee-shirt. it was preppy. i always had a different kind of style.

>> tell me about the from gravenlts it is a rite of passage . you know you are big when you have a fragrance, was it fun?

>> estee was fun. it was a five-year conversation with them. learn d.c. science of what goes into a fragrance.

>> can i try it?

>> i hope you do.

>> what did you use in it?

>> we started with bessey bear a big fragrance my father wore. then we put sandalwood, man da rir -- mandarine.

>> in your spring runway, there can be no greater ambition to bring back the fannie pack.

>> we don't call it that.

>> when you think of, this is a new passion. it's time has come what is old is new again.

>> as soon as my mother saw it, we said the belt bag .

>> it sounds much better.

>> tory, thank you for your success. it's great to have you here.

>> thank you very much.