C. Wonder is closing its doors forever.
The colorful retail chain, founded in 2011 by Chris Burch as part of Burch Creative Capital, will close its 11 remaining stores due to financial troubles. (The first two flagships were opened in New York’s Soho and Midtown neighborhoods.)
The news likely doesn’t come as a surprise to the industry. Since the beginning, the project has been met with both lawsuits and criticism. In November 2012, for example, Burch’s ex-wife and renowned designer Tory Burch filed a counterclaim to an earlier lawsuit originating from disputes over the stores’ design and product assortment. To some consumers, the vibe and logo were suspiciously similar to those of Tory Burch stores, but with lower prices.
Footwear was a big focus for the brand. Earlier this year, FN spoke with Megan O’Donnell, C. Wonder’s senior shoe designer. “When we opened the [first] store, we launched [the shoe category] with a driving moc, a couple of ballet flats and a few simple pumps. [Since then,] our assortment has almost quadrupled in size,” she said. “Considering where we were — how tiny the assortment was just three years ago compared with where we are now — we are beyond thrilled.”
But the strength of the shoes couldn’t save the day for C. Wonder.