Even if you don’t recognize her name, you’ve probably seen her work.
For the past seven years, fashion-conscious women of all ages have been sporting shoes, sunglasses, handbags and clothing by New York designer Tory Burch bearing her signature double-T medallion.
In May, Burch opened her first boutique in the D.C. area at Tysons Galleria. The 2,600-square-foot shop is one of 60 Burch boutiques worldwide. An invitation-only grand-opening party will take place Oct. 27, with Burch flying in from New York to attend.
If you’re not a fan of, or can’t afford, her fashion line, it’s still worth stopping by her boutique to admire the interior design, which is just as inspirational as the clothing.
At the Tysons location, a set of orange lacquered double doors opens to reveal a magnetic mix of graphic patterns, reflective surfaces, mirrored walls and a bold palette of plum, brown, orange, green and gold. Sumptuous white sofas with plump ikat cushions create a cozy lounge area for shoppers (or their mates) to take a breather or try on shoes. In the dressing rooms, when you pull back the heavily lined, purple-patterned curtain panels and spot more plum cushions sitting atop velvet x-benches, don’t be surprised if you start coveting a similar luxe dressing space for your own home.
Such attention to decorating details is not surprising given that Burch’s New York apartment, which has been featured in Vogue, has a circular entry with hand-painted chinoiserie wallpaper, an orange painted dining room with faux-tortoise trim and a kitchen floor that has just recently been painted high-gloss blue.
Burch works with New York designer Daniel Romualdez to design her shops. (He’s also helped with her homes.) The two design most of the furniture, fabrics and rugs used throughout her stores.
Burch’s boutiques aren’t just about glamour; they’re surprisingly homey, too.
“We wanted a place that wasn’t intimidating and where people would feel comfortable,” she says. “To me, there’s nothing worse than walking into a store and feeling like it’s too precious. We think it’s a big compliment when people just want to hang out.”
Speaking of hanging out, Burch, 45, says she does a lot of that in Washington. The designer, who grew up in Valley Forge, Pa., has a special affinity for the nation’s capital: One of her brothers attended Georgetown University and another lives in Alexandria. When she’s in town, besides eating at Cafe Milano and taking her three boys to the National Gallery of Art and the Smithsonian, Burch says one of her favorite things to do is stroll along the streets of Georgetown.
We spoke to Burch by phone from her office in New York to discuss the details of the Tysons shop, her interior design influences and her obsession with 1st Dibs.
How does interior design figure into the vision of your brand?
I love interiors and home and architecture and design. Interior design has been a big part of the brand from the beginning. I was working on my apartment when I was conceptualizing the company.
You collaborate with designer Daniel Romualdez when designing your boutiques, which are similar but not identical. How do you guys come up with the concept for each shop?
It’s organic, and it’s always evolving. Daniel and I are great friends. We worked on my apartment and my Southampton [N.Y.] home. We know each other quite well. With each store we open, we want it known that it’s ours, but we also take each location into consideration. The stores have a common vein, but from a design standpoint each has its own unique feel. I want customers to visit stores around the world and have a different feeling when they walk in.
In what specific ways does the Tysons boutique say D.C.?
D.C. is so interesting to me because it has everything and fashion is becoming a big part of it. D.C. is traditional, but women are taking more risks than they ever have before, and I wanted the store to incorporate that.
The boutique is a little more tailored and traditional, but then we added unexpected things like the gypsum lamps and the color palette. We wanted to mix it up. And make it comfortable at the same time for boyfriends, husband and kids.
When decorating your own home, what inspires you?
So many different things. From interior designers like Madeleine Castaing and David Hicks to traveling. I love traveling and taking my boys with me. I love mixing texture and color and fabrics and cultural elements. I think it’s interesting to not have one distinct style but an evolving style using elements from all different places.
And I love color. It makes me happy.
Orange is your signature color. Why do you find it so appealing?
Since I was a little girl it’s been my favorite color. It’s just a happy, powerful color. It’s energizing.
Where do you like to shop for your own homes?
I live on 1st Dibs late at night, after I put my boys to bed. It’s an addiction. You can find everything and anything there.
I like auctions as well, smaller boutique auctions around the country, which are more accessible than the bigger, well-known auction houses. You can find beautiful things and the prices are often less.
Is there a Tory Burch home collection in the future? If so, what would it include?
I would love to do home at some point, but it’s a tough business. I’m looking into it. We’d have tabletop, linens, sheets, picture frames, wastebaskets and fabric.
Will there be other Tory Burch boutiques in the D.C. area?
I love Georgetown. We opened our first accessory-only store in San Francisco last month, and I think that could be interesting in Georgetown.
Live chat:Designer Kathryn Ivey joins staff writer Jura Koncius at 11 a.m. Thursday.