Thanks to a clientele of loyal, well-to-do women-not to mention an on-air endorsement by Oprah-Tory Burch turned her elegant, bohemian fashion upstart with the trademark "T" into a powerhouse almost overnight.
Raised in a very well-to-do family outside Philadelphia, Tory attended Penn and had early PR jobs at Ralph Lauren and Vera Wang. After getting hitched venture capitalist Christopher Burch in 1997, Burch focused on raising her three boys, returning to fashion in 2004 thanks to financing from her exceedingly rich husband. She opened a store in Nolita, but in the tradition of one rich lady helping out another, her appearance on Oprah provided priceless exposure and since then, the label has ballooned into a multi-million-dollar empire. She's even earned the ultimate seal of approval from the industry: In 2008 she beat out Marc Jacobs and Michael Kors to be named the CFDA accessories designer of the year. In 2008 she also founded the Tory Burch Foundation, which provides economic opportunities to women.
After a quickie marriage to real estate developer Billy Macklowe in her early twenties and her divorce from Chris Burch in 2006, Tory made the rounds before taking up with testicular cancer poster-boy Lance Armstrong. The pair split up in October 2007, and Tory has since been linked to Warner Music honcho Lyor Cohen. [Image via Getty]