“Chris Burch is no longer co-chair of the board. Tory is the sole chair of the board, and this reflects how her company has been run since its inception. Chris never had an office or was involved in the day-to-day running of Tory Burch. While Chris remains a shareholder and a board member at Tory Burch, Barclays Capital remains engaged to sell his shares.”
The similarities between Tory’s Tory Burch and Chris’s C. Wonder have been a point of contention since Chris opened up his first C. Wonder store in November. Tory believes shoppers are confusing the brands, and has asked Chris to change his concept. It doesn’t look like he will be giving in on that front, however; he is planning to open another New York store later this year.
We attended the opening of C. Wonder back in the fall, and while it reminded us a bit of Tory Burch, it’s probably more aesthetically reminiscent of Kate Spade with a hint of J.Crew. However, the scale and pricing make it quite different than all of those brands, Tory Burch included. There are 86 product categories comprised of 1800 SKUs, with an average unit retail price of $40. Chris told us he planned to open 200 stores in two years, mostly in malls.
That said, the DNA of the brand isn’t terribly different from that of the brand he built with his ex-wife. And the situation, as detailed in Jessica Pressler‘s excellent New York Magazine piece, is complex. We sympathize with Tory, but we also understand Chris’s side — and so does Kelly Cutrone:
“I don’t really get it. Did they trademark lacquer? Does Lilly Pulitzer start calling Tory and saying, ‘Hey, you’re doing a modernized version of what I used to do, please stop’? Does Yves Saint Laurent call and say, ‘No, I’m the king of the tunic, I lived in Morocco’? Did the Knights of the Templars call off Christian Dior because he was using chain mail and that’s they what wore in the Crusades?”
Regardless, having Chris separate from Tory’s company probably makes the most sense for everybody.