There’s a new power couple in town. Not only have they joined each other in matrimony, but the duo will be working together to run American luxury company Tory Burch. We are talking of course about Tory Burch and her husband Pierre-Yves Roussel, who officially took their vows just this November after dating for more than four years and being engaged for two.
Earlier this month, it has been announced that Tory Burch will be stepping down as her eponymous brand’s CEO and that her new husband will take her place come 2019. Even though the appointment may be convenient because of Roussel’s personal connection with Burch, the step is more motivated by business rather than nepotism. The former comes as very qualified especially when considering his work with one of the world’s top luxury conglomerate groups.
Until early 2018, Roussel was the chairman and CEO of LVMH Fashion Group, a position he held for 12 long years, after which he became a special adviser to LVMH Chairman and CEO Bernard Arnault. In LVMH, he turned the tide and developed the group’s relative smaller brands, such as Celine, Marc Jacobs, Givenchy, Nicholas Kirkwood and Pucci, ending his stint with a tripled revenue. There have been reports that he intended to eventually get back to a more hands-on position on the European group, but the latest announcement indicates a change of heart.
Where does this leave Burch, now that her husband will be assuming the CEO position? The American designer will still be very much involved in the company she founded in 2004, although this time she will be devoting much of her energy as its executive chairman and chief creative officer. She will be working closely with Roussel, but will also focus on aspects that were paid less attention to before Roussel’s assumption as CEO. These include customer service, products and even personal appearances, which the designer has done less of when she was the CEO because other business matters took precedence.
The decision was something that has long been considered, way even before their two-part wedding in November. Burch thought that Roussel was the perfect person for the position, and would be the right executive to take the brand to the future after it went through thorough restructuring in the last four years. Roussel will be working alongside Burch in assessing the global position of the brand and coming up with a strategy for growth going forward. The move will also see the exec being based in New York and reporting to the board of directors which include stakeholders BDT capital and General Atlantic. It previously included Tresalia Capital before Tory Burch bought back its shares.
The brand has long been on the radar for Roussel, even before he started a romantic relationship with Burch. A few years ago, he has been looking for brands that LVMH could potentially buy, and found himself impressed with the success of Tory Burch even though it was not too long a time since the company first started operating. The acquisition did not become a reality because of some conflicts back then, but Roussel has expressed excitement in realizing the vision he and his wife now share for the brand.
Currently, Tory Burch operates with 250 stores globally, four of which are solely for the brand’s activewear arm, Tory Sport. It also has partnered with 3000 retailers worldwide to sell its merchandise. The business also boasts a $1 billion revenue. This business union, when done wisely and with just the right amount of luck may see further growth in the coming years.
Image credits: Vogue, Tory Burch, Brigitte Lacombe, Bertrand Rindoff Petroff / Getty Images, Bureau Betak, Will Ragozzino / BFA.com, WWD, Gilbert Carrasquillo / Getty Images, Noa Griffel