Policy Breakfast with Pierre-Yves Roussel, CEO of Tory Burch

March 20, 2024

“Navigating the Nuances: US vs. French Luxury Brands”

On March 20th, 2024, the French-American Foundation hosted an engaging Policy Breakfast at Greenberg Traurig’s offices, featuring Pierre-Yves Roussel, the CEO of Tory Burch. Attendees delved into a compelling discussion about the evolution and future of the U.S. luxury market, underpinned by the European model that has catapulted Tory Burch to global acclaim.

The event kicked off with opening remarks from our Chairman, Edward C. Wallace, followed by an introduction of Pierre-Yves Roussel by Foundation President Caroline Naralasetty. Drawing from his extensive experience in the fashion sector, including impactful roles at Comité Colbert and LVMH, Mr. Roussel offered a fascinating overview of the luxury market’s growth—from a surprising revelation in 1990 to its current valuation of approximately $400 billion.

Mr. Roussel’s insights into the success factors of the European luxury market, such as its heritage, direct-to-consumer approach, and stringent pricing models, contrasted sharply with the challenges faced in the U.S. market. He emphasized the importance of maintaining brand integrity, avoiding promotional discounts, and navigating department store sales with care.

Highlighting Tory Burch’s success, Mr. Roussel credited the blend of European luxury principles with American innovation. He noted Tory Burch’s early adoption of e-commerce and the brand’s commitment to philanthropy as key differentiators. Despite being a younger brand, Tory Burch’s relevance and adaptability have marked its path to a nearly $2 billion valuation.

The breakfast concluded with a dynamic Q&A session led by Siddhartha Shukla (Deputy-CEO LANVIN, FAF Board Member and Young Leader 2016), shedding light on brand culture, the necessity of brand reinvention, the impacts of the secondhand market, and the pandemic’s effect on retail.

Our deepest thanks to Pierre-Yves Roussel for an enlightening conversation and to Edward C. Wallace and Greenberg Traurig for their hospitality.