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Tory, Birkenstock, Skims, and the Great Fashion I.P.O. Debate

Tory Burch has done a good job of nodding to the big ideas of the season coming from Prada and the like, but making her take feel new and interesting.
Tory Burch has done a good job of nodding to the big ideas of the season coming from Prada and the like, but making her take feel new and interesting. Photo: Victor Virgile/Getty Images
Lauren Sherman
November 6, 2023

On Friday, I had lunch in L.A. with Paula Sutter, best known for turning around Diane von Furstenberg in the early 2000s. These days, Paula mostly works behind the scenes, sometimes advising, sometimes investing, other times as a board member. She sees a lot. We got to talking generally about the M&A scene, and why so many of the fashion businesses that went public a few years ago are now penny stocks, and what it takes to meet investor (and consumer) expectations in this era.

Our lunch capped off a week filled with phone calls to analysts and investors, some about Alo Yoga—the Los Angeles-based activewear-plus brand looking to raise private capital at a $10 billion valuation—and others about Tory Burch, which WWD reported has hired Morgan Stanley to explore “options,” which the paper speculated could be an I.P.O. or sale.