A Millionaire Investor Has Infuriated His Designer Ex-Wife With This Candy-coloured Boutique In Soho

christopher burchChristopher Burch (not pictured with Tory Burch)

Photo: Scott Gries/Getty Images

Walk inside the sprawling new C. Wonder boutique on Spring Street, and your senses are assaulted by neon sweaters, sparkling bangle bracelets, and booming pop music.It’s hard to believe the boutique, which has been packed since it opened in October, is at the centre of a nasty battle between a millionaire venture capitalist and his ex-wife, who reportedly claims he ripped the whole concept off from her own hugely successful clothing line.

But it is. New York Magazine‘s Jessica Pressler has a mega-piece on the fight in this week’s issue, but the gist is this: Christopher Burch, head of J. Christopher Capital, helped his then-wife Tory Burch launch her eponymous clothing line and chain of retail boutiques. He’s remained on board at the company, which is worth a billion dollars, according to Pressler, even though the pair split in 2006.

Now Chris has launched what appears to be a competing brand, albeit at a lower price point. And he’s got ambitious plans for his company, telling Pressler he expects to have 300 C. Wonder stores worldwide in the next six years.

While no lawsuit has been filed, Tory is clearly riled up about the similarities. Her company has hired Barclays to help sell Chris’ shares of her company, and she’s been pressing her ex-husband to change some of the more striking overlaps, Pressler reports.

For more, read Pressler’s full piece here >

We recently stopped by the Soho store, and it felt a little like walking into Candyland. It also felt fairly similar to a Tory Burch store, although it was bigger, more blinding, and totally packed.

The store is in a prime location on Spring Street, in Soho.

When we stopped by there was a DJ spinning tunes, but that's not a daily occurrence.

There's colour everywhere. At times it can be jarring.

But women are eating it up. There was barely space to try on a pair of canary yellow ballet flats.

There is a huge variety of products on display.

An entire room is dedicated to jewelry. Lots of pieces look like less expensive versions of the enamel and gold jewelry made by Tory Burch.

An entire room in the story is devoted to jewelry.

Customers clammered for a spot at the register.

You can get almost anything monogrammed.

The store doesn't limit itself to fashion. There are tons of home products for sale in the back, mostly branded by C. Wonder.

Of course, the home goods all had one thing in common--colour.

Items in the store range from around $10 to $200.

The store is maze-like, with lots of small rooms.

Nice hats.

You can even buy a bicycle in C. Wonder's signature lime green. It will set you back $250.

There are definite hints of Tory Burch, but C. Wonder channels other stores and brands as well. To us, it was also reminiscent of J. Crew.

Satisfied customers.

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