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They made even me, a nonathlete, want to exercise.” And the tracksuits with tapered or flared legs, blue or cream with gold racing stripes, may well spark a frenzy this fall.
Gigi Mortimer, an old friend who also consults for the main line, told me that an old navy-and-white cross-country ski suit with a narrow silhouette, which she had found in the closet of her mother-in-law, Kathleen Mortimer, in Sun Valley, had served as a jumping-off point for those suits and for the Tory Sport collection generally.
Tory waxes lyrical about bonding and seam-sealing, windproofing and waterproofing, and indeed stealth functionality is everywhere—interior zip pockets, reflective piping, UPF fabrics.
The styles skew old-school, but the technology is state-of-the-art.
I’m not a big believer in signs, but there’s this Gemini dichotomy: Although I’m a shy person, I think I’ve always been attracted to risk.
If I’m not taking chances, if I’m not a little bit out of my comfort zone, I get bored.”Next month, testifying to that restless imagination, she launches a new brand called Tory Sport, a collection of stylish tennis ensembles, sleek tracksuits, surfwear, golfwear, and all manner of avant- and après-sport clothes.
“She just does it and delivers results.” On a recent Thursday morning in her offices on West Nineteenth Street—appointed in orange and brown lacquers, with the requisite smattering of gold leaf, Lucite, and mirror; a ginger jar here, an Indian print there—Tory is, as always, everywhere at once.At a meeting with the company’s president, Brigitte Kleine, she mulls over locations for a boutique in Ginza while nursing a red Blow Pop (it’s Employee Appreciation Week, and candy is everywhere), then leaps up to take her mother to a doctor’s appointment.Back an hour later, she reviews composite stones from Jaipur, suggests adding iridescent Lurex yarn to an oatmeal sweater, and proposes barrettes in lilac tulle at a ready-to-wear design meeting for the main line.“The initial concept was pretty simple,” she explains.
“How do we make beautiful, evocative things that don’t cost a fortune?“This didn’t feel like a trend to me,” Tory says of the moment when she noticed that her friends in London were wearing yoga pants with a smart blazer to Cipriani for lunch.“It really seemed like a change in the way women were dressing.” The trouble was, she didn’t like the look of those yoga pants, or much of anything else she found at the gym shops.She drove a beat-up black Jeep Wagoneer with wooden side panels, wearing clogs, shorts, a turtleneck, and Chanel pearl earrings. “She had a chic, even then, that was effortless.”Tory grew up riding horses and banging tennis balls with her three brothers on a farm in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, where her parents had moved to escape the country-club culture of Bryn Mawr and Haverford.