The fashion event of the year (so far at least) was held on Friday 13 May, 2011 as preppy NY socialite Tory Burch launched her mid-range brand in Greater China, as well as showcased her F/W 2011 Collection.
Having lived in New York and also working for a gossip column at the time, I was well versed in all things Tory, and her huge following by Upper East Siders, who have helped make her ballet flats cult items and summer tunics the item du jour when off to their Hampton’s holiday houses. Burch has also been heavily featured on preppy Upper East Side high school dramedy Gossip Girl, with the character Blair Waldorf sporting many Burch designs on the show.
Although she has opened her first Asian store at Hong Kong’s IFC in December 2010, I was surprised to see how many people in the packed and excitable crowd at Hong Kong’s Four Seasons ballroom unfamiliar with the American fashion designer.
I read a fantastic write-up on Hong Kong Hustle on this event, which firmly encapsulates what I thought of the event and lack of knowledge in Asia re: the Tory Burch brand. So rather than paraphrase, please see exert below:
“.. the brand is still establishing itself in the city, its first foothold in Asia. As is the case with most brands looking for expansion in flat economies, all roads point to China.
The last few years have brought a wave of newer designers to Hong Kong’s shoppers. A kick-off event in the city is a good investment, as enlisting the right celebrities, models and personalities, covered by a broad range of media, helps disperse brand-awareness throughout the region.
Tory Burch fashion show
Though the event featured a presentation, rather than an actual fashion show (with the models just standing in place, slightly dancing,) the crowd responded to the music and got excited. Perhaps this alternative approach was a stroke of genius, as scores of iPhones and Blackberrys could be seen in the air, capturing the models’ outfits.
Using the same DJ who presided over American president Obama’s inauguration party, the skillfully chosen tunes kept things lively throughout the night. New York-based DJ Cassidy was a smart choice as his party-friendly music also appealed to the broad age range in attendance.
The designer, and brand namesake, Tory Burch, posed with party-goers for easily thirty minutes after the show. This kind of personal attention goes a long way in creating a bond with consumers, especially in today’s Weibo and Facebook social-networked climate.”
I have to agree with this assessment, I have never met a designer more warm and affable as Tory. I was so excited and thrilled after this event, that I’m waiting for the next pay-day to go clear out my wallet at one of her stores. That is how much a little good will goes folks, a bit of attention and warmth thrown the way to free loading fans, can actually translate into sales and brand loyalty. And I am the proof! Such a refreshing and different show, there are still 100’s of photos being tagged on Facebook days after the event and the talk is still about what a great night it was and how awesome Miss Burch is.