It looks like C. Wonder could come back, thanks to a deal for retail management company Xcel Brands to acquire the retailer’s property rights, trademarks, and similar assets.
The company filed for bankruptcy protection in January and at the time announced the closure of all stores.
Xcel has helped the likes of Isaac Mizrahi, Liz Claiborne, and H. Halston thrive anew after stumbling financially.
Isaac Mizrahi has benefited greatly from Xcel’s interventions. Mizrahi was a promising young designer in the 1990s who gained fans not just through his late-20th century updates of mid-century designs, but his high-profile turns in the documentary Unzipped and his own shows on the Style Network and Oxygen.
But though Mizrahi’s designs and generous if neurotic personality had wide appeal, he struggled financially until he sold his business to Xcel. Since then, Mizrahi is doing well, selling though department stores, QVC, and now through his own brick-and-mortar stores.
Perhaps C. Wonder will see a similar revival. The quirky home goods and accessories retailer was founded three years ago by Tory Burch’s ex-husband, venture capitalist J. Christopher Burch. Although the retail effort was considered by many to be something of a vanity project and even an example of “revenge retail,” it also had a lot of fans. Burch reportedly opened one C. Wonder store just below one of his ex-wife’s favorite salons in Manhattan, and entered into other possibly unwise business decisions along those lines.