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TITLE: Chief executive officer
COMPANY: Tory Burch
NOMINATED FOR: The best word to sum up Burch’s year is most likely “dramatic.” For one, there has been the dramatic growth of her business, which, according to market sources, is expected to end the year with estimated retail sales exceeding $800 million. Burch’s increasing global reach — she now has more than 70 stores worldwide, and is rapidly expanding in key opportunity markets like China, Brazil and the United Arab Emirates — is a far cry from when she started her business with one store on Elizabeth Street in New York in 2004. The momentum, particularly against a challenged global economy, has earned her the status of an American “It” company.
But the year has also been dramatic for less ebullient reasons. Amid the flurry of business activity, Burch has been embroiled in an ugly, back-and-forth legal battle with her ex-husband Christopher Burch, with whom she founded the company. Tory alleges that he purposely gleaned information about her namesake brand in order to create the “knock-off” retail concept C. Wonder, while Chris accuses her of keeping him from pursuing other business ventures as he tried to sell his 28.5 stake in the company. All the various factors have made Tory Burch one of the most talked-about and closely watched designers in American fashion.