Marketing is everything to fashion brands and being able to gauge how well a collection is received as it comes down the runway is critical. While there are many technological methods applied, some with audience samples and interviews, there’s one that’s fool proof: How quickly does Anna Wintour put on her coat?
Unfortunately, for British designer Tory Burch the answer was: much too soon. The finale walk had barely started at the top of the runway before Anna was slipping an arm into her fur-trimmed camel coat. During the finale, she was sending a text on her phone, presumably instructing her driver to be ready. She politely waiting until the designer appeared before giving a quick wave to (New York Times street style photographer) Bill Cunningham, and poof, in an instant, she was gone.
Mind you, this isn’t a case of bad manners. Ms. Wintour, most well known as the editor-in-chief of Vogue magazine, is an extremely busy and in-demand woman this time of year. Just her presence at a show establishes the designer’s importance. She doesn’t have time to stand around and chit-chat.
However, Anna’s body language made it clear she was ready to leave three minutes before this show was over, and chances are she wasn’t the only one who felt that way.
Not that the Tory Burch fall/winter collection is horrible. Quite to the contrary. Tory Burch faithful will snatch up these dresses, along with the knee-high socks and lace-up boots as quickly as they hit the stores. The brightly colored prints with metallic accessories, especially that gold-colored belt with hip chain, will look great in store windows and do a good job of attracting new customers. This is a strong collection with some very attractive selling points.
Still, not everything here is a winner, either. The fur-lined hand muffs with leather neck straps elicited a few too many chuckles. Leather, military-style overlays seemed to have been imported from a very different, less pretty collection.
Redeeming the collection, in my opinion, are well-placed touches of lace around collars and cuffs, which add just the right sense of elegance to pieces that otherwise might come off as a bit too suburban. Tops with a deep-plunging scooped V neck were a bit risky, but well styled and just sexy enough for the label’s younger audience.
Tory Burch has been riding a high wave with her brand, with the introduction of a cosmetics line and the announcement of going into menswear. I’ve no doubt that, from a commercial standpoint, the collection will do very well and keep profits strong. However, we’ve seen better from Ms. Burch and look forward to that happening again.