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Tory Burch’s ex turns colorful competitor
If the gold crests, cheery colors, and citrus-lacquered doors of Lenox Square’s new C. Wonder seem familiar, it’s no coincidence. The chain—launched last year in New York and now rolling out nationwide—is headed by Chris Burch, ex-husband of Tory, whose double-T logo has become the most ubiquitous insignia since Polo’s horse. Mr. Burch, an entrepreneur who’s shaped dozens of brands (the brains behind Eagle’s Eye, he claims to have invented Christmas sweaters), is pulling out of the billion-dollar empire he helped Tory build, resigning as board cochair and selling stock. Ms. Burch is reportedly not happy about the brands’ similarities—much to the amusement of New York media stoking the “war” of the exes—but has filed no lawsuits.
C. Wonder will indeed remind you of Tory Burch—as well as Kate Spade and J. Crew—but it’s different in one key respect: Those medallion T-strap sandals you coveted all summer? Just $68 on sale. The concept is moneyed WASP style—preppy designs, bold prints, enameled bangles—at average prices less than $40. Clothing, accessories, home decor, and gifts are arranged in themed “rooms” such as Morocco, American Dream, and English Country House. In personalized fitting rooms, shoppers can customize lighting and music. There’s on-site engraving and monogramming too, in case you’d rather use your own logo and not take sides. 3393 Peachtree Road, cwonder.com
This article originally appeared in our September 2012 issue.