And just like that, Tory Burch is a billionaire.
The Valley Forge native and Penn grad has amassed enough of an empire to become the latest fashion tycoon to land on the 2013 Forbes World's Billionaires list, which will be released in March says the publication. 46-year-old Burch is the second to youngest, female, self-made billionaire, after Spanx founder Sara Blakely, who in 2012 made the list at 41. Blakely opened her first three standalone Spanx retail locations last year, including a store in King of Prussia Mall. Both Blakely and Burch have seen their products land on the "Favorite Things" list of another self-made billionaire woman: Oprah.
Tory's newfound billionaire status follows the Jan. 1 announcement that a settlement agreement was reached between the designer and her ex-husband Chris Burch. After months of lawsuits, counterclaims, nasty remarks and a very bitter, public battle between the two Burches, Chris sold part of his 28.3% stake in the brand to two minority investors this week. Forbes calculates that Tory Burch LLC is valued at least $3.5 billion, which means Tory's stake in her company is estimated at approximately $1 billion.
Armies of women have pledged their allegiance to the Tory Burch brand, in part due to the overwhelming success of her $195 Reva ballet flat, a staple footwear item in the shoe closets of chic urban dwellers worldwide. Since the Reva (named after Tory's mother) flat's debut in 2006, the double-crossed "T" logo has extended its hold on boho chic women everywhere - the emblem stamped across soft leather handbags, cuffs, belts and eyewear as a uniform symbol for the "ladies who lunch." In 2008, Burch told Town & Country that much of her company's astounding growth and success was based off this concept: "Luxury, as I see it, is not exclusionary." In 2012 alone, Tory Burch LLC boasted close to $800 million in revenue. It's expected that Burch and her board will go public this year, which would solidify that 2013 is indeed, the year of Tory.
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