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Is Tory Burch a Luxury Brand? Defining Contemporary Chic

The other day I was wandering around the mall on a Saturday, just people watching, when I noticed something kind of interesting. All the big, fancy designer stores, Coach, Valentino, and Michael Kors, were packed with shoppers. But the one that really caught my eye was Tory Burch. The place had a bright exterior and a warm lighting inside that gave everything a luxurious golden glow.

Tory Burch tote bag yellow and green

I checked out some of the prices and was pretty surprised. Everything seemed reasonable compared to what you’d pay for something from Coach or Valentino. And that got me wondering, is Tory Burch a luxury brand? Or is it more of an accessible luxury situation? Let’s find out.

The Secret Sauce of Defining a True Luxury Brand

As a total fashion junkie, I’m always up on the latest designer brands and trends. And in my opinion, Tory Burch is a designer brand.

But there’s more to being a true luxury brand than just having a fancy name. Real luxury is about creating exclusivity and scarcity.

Limited edition bags and caps on production like the Louis Vuitton Keepall bags or the Ciroc vodka from Moschino up the luxury factor.

And luxury comes at a premium price point. We’re talking thousands for a handbag, not hundreds. The products must have meticulous construction and high-quality durable materials that stand the test of time and trends.

What distinguishes old luxury houses from new is an established history and lineage. Tradition and narrative add prestige to a brand.

And luxury should always give back. Ethical practices and philanthropy initiatives are necessary to boost reputation.

When a brand nails all aspects of these “secret ingredients,” you know you’ve found top-tier luxury. It may be out of everyday reach, but true luxury represents the pinnacle of style, quality, and exclusivity.

Born Yesterday? Tory Burch’s Origin Story

As a relative newcomer founded in 2004, Tory Burch lacks the established heritage of old luxury houses like Chanel and Versace.

But its origin story is still engaging. The brand was established from founder Tory Burch’s own quest for stylish, preppy pieces she couldn’t find elsewhere.

She opened a boutique in NYC’s Nolita filled with her perfect-fitting pants, ballet flats, and tunics accented with the now-iconic double-T logo.

The brand took off, reflective of Tory’s own high-society connections and her “attainable luxury” vision.

She created a fashion house retelling the story of “classic American luxury” at an accessible price point.

Today, Tory Burch draws on influences like classic American sportswear and the carefree riviera lifestyle.

Tory Burch is a fashion brand that offers a blend of classic style and modern trends. In the fashion world, Tory Burch bags and other Tory Burch products have become staples, creating a buzz especially when a new collection drops in any Tory Burch store, solidifying its position as an emerging fashion brand.

A Tory Burch bag is easily recognizable by its distinctive Tory Burch logo, which adds to its appeal as an “accessible luxury” item.

But the brand 15+ year history lacks the heritage and provenance of old-world luxury brands.

While fun and aspirational, it doesn’t have the established narrative of true luxury. But given time, its story could evolve.

FOMO Alert! Does Tory Burch Spark Joy or Anxiety?

I adore Tory Burch’s chic styles and attainable pricing. But as I keep researching true luxury characteristics, exclusivity is key.

So, is Tory Burch a luxurious brand that makes customers feel special? Unlike rare Hermès Birkin bags, Tory’s signature flats and totes are plentiful in the market.

There’s no shortage in stores or anxiety-inducing waitlists. But Tory employs some scarcity tactics. Limited edition capsule collections create temporary exclusives, including different types of bags, clothes, sandals, trainers, etc.

Occasional surprises like their invite-only Private Sale offer VIP access to elevated discounts. It’s a thrill to unlock special perks.

While not as extreme as Supreme “drops,” these occasional offerings add a dash of exclusivity. But for the most part, Tory Burch still courts a wide audience.

Ultimately, its attainable luxury positioning means more accessibility, which my wallet appreciates.

Tory Burch Plays with the Cool Kids

Is Tory Burch a luxury brand? Like similar brands, they lean on celebrity associations to boost their high-end cred.

They have tapped a few A-listers and artists for campaigns and collabs. Back in 2015, they worked with actress Dianna Agron.

She directed a short film called “L’Américaine” to showcase their Parisian-chic style. And just this year, they had Emily Ratajkowski rocking their boho dresses in a dreamy campaign.

It definitely brings an aspirational, celebrity vibe to the brand. They’ve also done some interesting art collabs.

For their Fall 2020 collection, Tory took inspiration from Francesca DiMattio’s wild pottery sculptures. Seeing DiMattio’s surreal ceramic art incorporated into Tory’s classic preppy prints was genius.

It gave the clothes this conceptual edge, mixing high art with accessible fashion. Super innovative. Is Tory Burch out of style, given its lack of collaboration with big names?

Not at all! In fact, fashion insiders are buzzing about the brand’s new direction lately. They’ve been showing mod patterns, edgier layering looks, and gorgeous net dresses that are turning heads on runways and red carpets.

There’s a cooler, almost irreverent vibe happening. It’s like they’re taking their iconic pieces and styling them in all these exciting, fresh ways.

Whatever the cause behind this makeover, I’m intrigued by this innovative spin on Tory’s classic aesthetic. The look still channels affordable luxury, just with a dose of modern cool.

Is Tory Burch a Luxury Brand: Luxury or Just Luxe-ish?

As an affordable luxury seeker, I pay close attention to pricing. True luxury equals sky-high price tags. So, is Tory Burch a luxury brand?

For Tory Burch bags, entry-level small totes start around $230. Handbags can range between $300 and $800. Top-tier bags like the Lee Radziwill woven tote peak near $1,500.

I’ve even come across a Lee Radziwill double bag for around $1,600 in Nordstrom. While not cheap, these prices pale compared to handbags from Chanel or Louis Vuiton.

For shoes, ballet flats start at $228, reaching $378 for leather. Again, tthe pricing is luxurious but not exorbitant.

The brand did once launch an alligator bag that retailed for $15,000. The exotic bag shows Tory’s high-end potential.

But for most products, prices reflect “luxe-ish” appeal, not pure luxury exclusivity. These reasonable prices are perfect for attaining a taste of luxury on a budget.

Scoring Tory Burch on the Resale Value

For luxury labels, resale value is the true test of enduring desirability. So, how does the resale value of Tory Burch products compare?

On sites like Poshmark and The RealReal, Tory Burch bags and shoes often sell for 40-60% off retail. Not horrible, but not stellar either.

Popular styles like the Perry tote or Minnie ballet flat may recoup 50-70% of original cost. Compared to Chanel bags that can double in value, Tory’s resale prices feel more mass market.

While the signature T medallion and boho elements add some pizzazz, most styles don’t become coveted classics.

Tory’s limited editions hold value better, though not at the level of high-end brands. For the most part, the brand’s accessibility prevents those dramatic price spikes.

Tory Burch: Quality Craftsmanship or Made for the Masses?

When you hear “luxury,” what comes to your mind? I bet it will be words like “artisan” and “hand-crafted”. Does the Tory Burch brand care about these luxurious traits?

So, I was disappointed to learn that the brand moved its production to China in 2011.

The move from the USA to China allowed them to offer accessible pricing through cheaper construction costs. However, while China has improved quality standards, high-end luxury artisans remain largely in Europe.

Tory’s Chinese manufacturing focuses on mass production over painstaking craft and quality. That said, the brand’s quality surpasses fast fashion.

Their leathers still have supple feel and hardware gleams substantial. But all the products are more machine-made than meticulously crafted.

You may wonder how Tory Burch compares to Michael Kors. If you consider the aesthetics and designs, MK will be slightly ahead, despite TB’s popularity among the budget fashionistas.

Does Tory Burch Have Iconic Designs?

Is Tory Burch a luxury brand? In the world of luxury, iconic and signature styles separate the timeless from the trendy.

Can we call Tory Burch a luxury label by that definition? I’d say they have a few iconic names under their belt.

The big one is obviously the Reva ballet flat, launched in 2006 and still super popular today. It’s a simple ballet flat made luxe with a polished medallion logo on the toe.

Instantly recognizable and unmistakably Tory. The Reva became their bestseller and was everywhere, on city streets, college campuses, you name it.

They also struck gold with the structured Robinson satchel with the geometric double-T logo closure. It’s got those clean lines and classic shapes that make it so versatile.

Same goes for the Lee Radziwill bags; they’ve gained a cult following for that minimal, timeless vibe. Why is Tory Burch so popular?

I’d say they nailed it in terms of taking classics like flats and satchels and giving them a fresh, logo-centric twist with mass appeal.

But they don’t have the heritage and history of fashion houses like Chanel or Dior. So, they’re not quite on the level of those OG luxury brands.

Is Tory Burch a luxury brand when it comes to giving back?

Corporate ethics and philanthropy initiatives also add to that sense of prestige when evaluating luxury.

So, how does Tory measure up on social responsibility? Big kudos to the Tory Burch Foundation, which has been supporting women entrepreneurs since 2009.

So far, they’ve provided loans to over 3,000 women-owned businesses. Their Fellows Program also connects women with networking and training opportunities.

Focusing on women’s empowerment shows admirable intentions. But beyond that worthy cause, Tory’s broader commitments are a little unclear.

I couldn’t find much on sustainability efforts like eco-friendly materials or supply chains, no big robust goals stated there.

The brand also lacks animal welfare policies banning fur and angora that close competitors have adopted. The Tory Foundation is commendable but narrow in scope.

For a brand to be considered a true luxury leader, it is expected to have expanded initiatives in ethical production and environmental causes.

Luxury Service or Let Down? Weighing Tory Burch’s Customer Care

Is Tory Burch a luxury brand? As an avid shopper, I know first-class customer service is a hallmark of luxury brands.

Based on reviews, does the brand truly deliver a top-tier experience? The perspectives are decidedly mixed.

Some reviewers praise friendly in-store assistance and complimentary gift wrapping, touches that feel personalized and thoughtful.

However, complaints also abound, especially regarding issues with delayed or incorrect online orders. These shipping problems seem systemic.

Multiple reviews on platforms like SiteJabber and BBB (Better Business Bureau) tell of orders taking weeks to arrive and wrong or missing items.

As someone who loves the convenience of online shopping, these fulfillment fails would definitely frustrate me.

Additionally, some reviewers describe lackluster responses when contacting customer service for problems. No white glove treatment here.

Astonishingly, the brand does not offer a standard warranty for its products except for watches. However, it provides repair and other services for defective products and normal wear and tear for up to one year.

The brand’s experience suits my affordable luxury tastes but falls short of premium perfection. For true luxury devotees, its occasional service issues and lack of deluxe perks simply don’t measure up.

When prices hit a certain point, customers expect service to match flawlessly. Tory still has room to improve for that truly elevated experience.

Is Tory Burch a Luxury Brand? The Verdict

So, how does Tory Burch, a relative newcomer launched in 2004, measure up? In my experience, Tory nails some aspects of luxury: sleek boutiques, trend-driven styles, and monogrammed designs.

Each of these details exude premiumness. But the prices, while not cheap, aren’t astronomical. The quality is good but not heirloom level.

And the young brand lacks heritage. For me, Tory falls more into the affordable luxury brand territory, above fast fashion but below true luxury.

For the fashion-conscious, not the couture collector, it hits the accessible luxury bullseye.

FAQs About Tory Burch: Is It A Luxury Brand?

Is Tory Burch a high-end?

No, Tory Burch is more like an affordable luxury brand. Its accessible style occupies an appealing middle ground between fast fashion and true luxury exclusivity. It offers quality designs with recognizable style that remains affordable for a wide range of consumers.

Which is a bigger brand: Coach or Tory Burch?

Coach is clearly the larger brand between the two, with over double the annual revenue compared to Tory Burch. It has a significantly wider customer base and broader retail presence across global markets, cementing its position as an industry leader beyond newer brands like Tory Burch.

Is Tory Burch a luxury item?

No, Tory Burch is not a luxury item but an accessible luxury brand. Its position is between high-end designers and mass market labels. The brand offers quality products with signature preppy style loved by budget-conscious shoppers.

Is Tory Burch a luxury brand?

Tory Burch is known for its quality and stylish products, but it is distinctly positioned as a luxury lifestyle brand rather than a strictly luxury fashion brand