R.I.P., C. Wonder.
It was a brief but dramatic run. The colorful retail company, founded in 2011 by Tory Burch's ex-husband Chris Burch, started with a bang, immediately generating plenty of snarky comments from fashion insiders -- a sign of a reckoning to come. The brand didn't generate the cash necessary to keep it afloat. After closing 20 of its 32 locations in November, C. Wonder has shuttered its remaining stores.
“Due to the highly competitive nature of the current retail environment, C. Wonder will be closing its remaining stores,” a company spokesperson told Entrepreneur.com. “The company continues to evaluate its best alternative to maintain the C. Wonder experience for its customers.”
According to BuzzFeed, yesterday morning the company called a town-hall meeting where its remaining 100 or so employees were told that the brand was closing up shop and, barring those who would stay on to help with the closure, everyone was dismissed that afternoon.
C. Wonder's social media pages have since been shut down.
From its opening, the clothing chain – which glitzy clothes, home goods and jewelry – drew the ire of fashion-elites, many of whom considered the brand a direct knock-off of Tory Burch's more expensive clothing line. “The fact that [Chris] plagiarized the DNA of the Tory Burch brand shows that he is not that clever. Otherwise he could have come up with a new creative concept,” Tamara Mellon, a co-founder of Jimmy Choo, told Vanity Fair back in December 2012. Added fashion-powerhouse Diane von Furstenberg: “What I find bizarre and nasty, and can’t possibly finish well for him, is that he is … hurting [Tory Burch's business] by sabotaging it, by copying it. I don’t understand.”
In recent years, C. Wonder took out expensive leases in prime locations in New York City, including stores in Soho, the Flatiron district and Columbus Circle.
Along with its physical stores, C. Wonder's e-commerce site will close "in the next two to three weeks," BuzzFeed reports.