Burch vs Burch: Is Tory's ex-husband attempting to rival her success with his own 'copycat' fashion empire
Tory Burch may have been surprised to find that her ex-husband had opened a store right down the street from her own boutique in Soho.
But the proximity of Chris Burch's first outlet for new label, C. Wonder, is not the only thing that may a bit too close for comfort for the designer.
Mr Burch's new retail concept is under the careful scrutiny of friends of Ms Burch, 45, who say that he has clearly copied many features of his ex-wife's design aesthetic including the logo.
Too close for comfort Chris and Tory Burch split in 2006 but have tried to remain amicable until now. His store is close to hers and remarkably similar in style
The venture capitalist has chosen an emblem that some see
as being almost identical to his ex-wife's now
famous mirror image T's.
A friend of Ms Burch told New York Magazine: 'Tory knows it, and everyone knows it…
'There’s the snap bracelets. The wallets. The
This is not the first time Mr Burch, 58,
has experimented with cheaper versions of the preppy, colourful style
that Ms Burch is known for.
Copycat The elaborate lettering of Chris Burch's initials looks almost identical in style, many believe, to the now famous mirror image T's of his ex-wife's brand
When Mr Burch's then wife decided to launch her own line in 2004, he developed a more affordable offshoot as a safety net.
It was never manufactured due to the success of the Tory Burch label but those close to the immaculate blonde designer see C. Wonder as an obvious second attempt to compete with her brand.
Despite the fact that Mr Burch is still a board member of the Tory Burch company, many believe C. Wonder has been positioned as a rival.
Is it any wonder Chris Burch's label has been compared with his ex-wife's but many say he knows enough about the business to have created his own aesthetic
Burch style Tory Burch's store showcases the preppy, colourful style that some say has been emulated by her ex-husband
A fellow board member told the magazine: 'There is
some apparent customer confusion between the two brands. And that’s not
good for anybody.'
Others like PR guru Kelly Cutrone, who is
working with Mr Burch on a collection, argues that a man
who has helped launch nearly 50 brands is fashion savvy enough to take
credit for his own look.
Happier days: The couple before their 2006 divorce are still both board members of Tory Burch
She defended him saying: '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'
She continued, pointing out that: 'Tory
Burch was Tory Robinson when she met Chris Burch. She was a publicist. Now she has a billion-dollar company.
know what the beef is. But I’m hoping he’s able to continue his track
record of turning publicists into billionaires, because I’m next in
Tory Robinson and Chris Burch married in 1996 and have three sons together. Though their split in 2006 was acrimonious they made amends after a spate of family misfortune.
'You realize the pettiness has to stop,' the popular designer said at the time. 'Now
we’re putting the business and kids first.'
The launch of C. Wonder has created waves within the Burch empire but it is not clear whether Ms Burch will bring suit to her ex-husband given that he remains so key to both her business and family life.