Her mother, Reva Robinson, still lives in the family Georgian in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania; and her late father, Buddy, was rarely without an Hermès monogrammed pocket square.
After resigning from a marketing position at Loewe in 2001 to be with her young children, Burch sought to revive a company called Jax, which sold chic sportswear in the Fifties and Sixties to the kinds of women who sought Jackie Kennedy’s look, and sometimes even to the young senator’s wife herself.
Undeterred, she asked a few of Marin’s former colleagues at Old Navy (where Marin had been an executive) to come to her home and assist her with a few simple samples she had made—pieces that belonged in her world but would play as aspirational to a broader audience: sportswear that was classic, travel-influenced, accessible.
Her starting point was a pastel tunic she’d picked up at a Paris flea market.
Her spring 2010 presentation revealed more edge (leather, shorter hemlines) and eclectic accessories (moccasin stacked heels and booties) as A Tribe Called Quest and Usha Iyer bounced through the speakers.
The latter may be owed in part to a new man; though she is mum on her personal life, Burch has been dating music executive Lyor Cohen for more than a year (his picture sits alongside those of her family on a mirrored shelf behind her desk).
“We thought it was just a tiny little shop that needed help,” says Wong, a pattern and print specialist, of Burch’s plan to open her first store in No LIta while launching her collection.
It is a Tuesday afternoon in New York, but for the designer it feels like Wednesday morning, Thailand time.
She has just returned from spending New Year’s in Phuket with her three sons, a mini break after opening a new store, her 24th, in Tokyo’s Ginza district.
It has been six years since she launched her company, but ironically she insists that her original goals were modest—vague, even.
“By five years, I think we had planned for three stores,” Burch says of the initial outline for her business, which she cofounded with Chris Burch, her former husband.