Chloe Burch, along with sister Neely, aim to produce affordable yet aspirational fashion.
Sisters Chloe and Neely Burch (above, Chloe standing) – nieces of US fashion designer Tory Burch – are rejecting “low-quality, unsustainable fast fashion” through their three-year-old handbag and accessories brand, Neely & Chloe.
Aspiring for the same level of quality as bigger name, high-end designers, the eponymous founders say their mission is to create an aspirational yet attainable lifestyle brand, which rejects mass-production and refuses to compromise on quality – despite all products retailing at less than $350 (£240).
Centred around the company ethos of creating “high-quality products at an attainable price”, Neely & Chloe offers a range of sophisticated everyday items, from handbags and pouches to footwear and ornaments.
Products are made from luxury materials, including Saffiano calf leather and crocodile, and come in an array of colours, from black to blue, red and khaki green. The previously sold-out Mini Lady bag is its number one best-seller – a Saffiano shoulder bag, just about big enough for a mobile phone.
Since launching in New York in 2016, the brand has amassed 160 stockists across the US, including Anthropologie. It is not yet stocked in the UK, but ships worldwide. Wholesale prices range from $22 (£18) for a card case to $174 (£140) for a weekend bag.
Sales grew by 77% year on year from August 2018 to August 2019, and the duo are now focusing on developing wholesale operations and opening new stores.
Read on for Chloe’s fashion life.
What’s the first thing you do when you get up in the morning?
Check my phone for emails.
What was your first job?
When I was eight, my dad made Neely and me work as ranch hands during the summer.
How would you describe the brand in one sentence?
An attainable line of handbags and accessories.
What’s your coffee (or tea) order?
Regular coffee with cream and sweetener.
Where are your favourite places to shop?
Everlane, J Crew and Net-a-Porter because they have lots of clean, classic styles… You can’t go wrong with a good white T-shirt and a nice pair of jeans!
Last fashion purchase? Why did it catch your eye?
Chunky white heels with thin straps from [luxury US footwear brand] Loeffler Randall – they go with everything and are comfortable, too.
Emails or phone calls?
Most important lesson you’ve learned during your career?
Stay flexible. Nothing goes according to plan and you have to roll with the punches.
What would be your ideal office/meeting space?
The N&C office in Tribeca [New York]. It’s so serene, it feels like your living room. We have lots of calming colours, such as blue and white, to help the office and showroom feel as inviting as possible. We love it.
What’s your favourite part of the creative process?
Seeing the samples for the first time.
What has been your proudest moment since you launched the company?
Seeing a random person on the street carrying one of our bags.
What’s the last book you read?
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng.
Nantucket [Massachusetts] for 4 July.
Who in the fashion/retail industry inspires you?
My aunt Tory [Burch]. She works so incredibly hard and has built a brand like no one else I’ve ever seen. I hope to be that lucky with N&C.
What’s the biggest challenge facing fashion today?
The speed at which society and technology are changing. Brands have to work extra hard to keep up to date with social media, as well as their online and physical retail stores.
One piece of advice would you give your younger self?
Worry less, which is something I’m still working on! Try to tell yourself that everything will work out, even when it’s out of your control.
Who do you turn to when you need advice?
What would we find you doing at the weekend?
Sleeping in, relaxing, and working out.
What are you looking forward to most in the year ahead?
My wedding in April.