6. Tory Burch, chief executive officer, Tory Burch
With 82 stores worldwide, 35 more in the pipeline for 2013, a solid wholesale business and two consecutive runway hits under her belt, Tory Burch has become one of the most-talked about American designers. Her Reva ballet flats and handbags continue to lure fans to her stores, and the business community likes to speculate about an IPO, though the designer has denied this. Burch is also embroiled in a nasty legal battle with ex-husband Christopher Burch, who cofounded the company with her. He sued her in October, claiming she blocked him from selling his stake in the firm. She countered with a suit alleging he used his role at the company to source and develop “copycat” products and store furnishings for his C. Wonder retail brand. Most recently, she accused him of withholding documents pertinent to the case.