2016 Fall/Winter Collection

At a preview appointment for her latest collection, the intentionally transitional, ambiguously titled, May-arriving Pre-Fall,Tory Burch had change on her mind. “The customer is changing, people are changing, shopping is changing,” said Burch, holding one of her new flap-front leather bags (appealingly devoid of branding, save a subtle embossing on the inside). Burch was thinking, as much of the industry is, about social media, the immediacy of fast fashion, and the future of commerce, e- and otherwise. “The customer has so much access to so many things that I think they’re buying less,” said the designer, grazing over the current terror at the heart of each and every department store. “I think it’s good to edit. I want smaller, more focused, really concise collections in general,” she added.

And for Burch, whose explosive success as a brand was founded on her vision for what her customer really wants—best defined, perhaps, as a sense of stylish pragmatism—that focus has zeroed in on Etel Adnan, the 91-year-old Lebanese-American artist whose work first attracted her a few years ago.