Bringing Preppy Back, QVC Revives C. Wonder Brand


C. Wonder relaunch 2016 QVC

In a fashionista version of the phoenix rising, QVC is bringing Chris Burch’s C. Wonder lifestyle brand back to life. The exclusive apparel and accessories collection will launch on-air and online on March 3.

After closing its handful of lime green stores last year, Burch sold the troubled brand to Xcel Brands, which named Brad Goreski as creative director with an aim to relaunch it.

His debut collection heralding the brand’s comeback is inspired by global travel (not just weekend trips to the Hamptons) and combines “sophisticated preppy chic aesthetic embodied with a modern worldly spirit,” as The Slanted describes it. The relaunched line includes logo-buckled belts, floral blouses and classic C. Wonder designs like the “bee happy” loafers.

C. Wonder QVC bee happy loafers 2016

Primper to the stars and a contributor to Redbook and E!’s Fashion Police, Goreski has worked as a stylist for Kate Spade, Lea Michele and Sarah Hyland. He made his name as Rachel Zoe’s right hand on Bravo’s The Rachel Zoe Project which led to his own show, “It’s a Brad, Brad World.” QVC is a natural for his first brand as creative director as “I love being on TV,” Goreski told Racked.

Expanding on a prior relationship with QVC, the relaunch of C. Wonder features a Morocco meets “an Upper East Side bohemian vibe,” according to Goreski. “So the Upper East Side vibe is in the finishes, the luxurious fabrics, the tailoring. There wasn’t a reason to get away from [the preppy style], but more to find a way to reinvision the brand and still keep the things that people know and love.”

C. Wonder 2016 relaunch QVCThe brand has a checkered past. Founded in 2011 by Tory Burch’s ex-husband as a retail concept and revenge brand, the duo became embroiled in a legal battle throughout 2012 and 2013 over claims that C. Wonder was a Tory Burch knock-off. What ensued “is the type of drama-filled plotline that Gossip Girl writers probably wished they dreamt up,” Racked observed.

“Chris seemed to be making products expressly to dupe the Tory Burch customer … The actual  product was all about tricking them,” Racked alleged. “Burch assumed that his clientele wasn’t smart or savvy enough to care that he was ripping off Tory.”

Supporters of Chris disagreed. “There was really never any real concern that C. Wonder would step on Tory Burch’s business, because the quality just wasn’t there,” a fashion insider told The New York Post. “Customers are actually quite savvy . . . you can’t dress up a plastic dog bowl and pretend it’s Hermès.”

Never mind all that, Goreski told Racked—”The QVC customer loves fashion, she loves finding a treasure piece, she loves to buy a lot in a lot of volume.” Ranging in price from $26 to $236, the collection includes apparel, bags, belts, shoes, scarves and jewelry.

“We are excited to bring this beloved brand to QVC and provide shoppers with an opportunity to discover C. Wonder,” stated Rachel Ungaro, QVC’s VP Fashion and Beauty Merchandising, in a press release.

QVC is the world’s leading TV and digital e-retailer, reaching about 340 million homes worldwide with operations in the US, Japan, Germany, United Kingdom, Italy, France and a joint venture in China. “I can’t wait to share my fashion knowledge and bring this renowned brand to QVC,” Goreski says. “I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to showcase a new C. Wonder collection to loyal customers, while introducing the beautiful product to those new to the brand.”