In early January preppy clothing and gift retailer C. Wonder announced it was closing its doors and later filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
In a surprising turn of events, Xcel Brands acquired C. Wonder last month.
The company is continuing to execute its turnaround as it just tagged one of the fashion industry’s most recognisable faces as its new creative director, Brad Goreski.
Goreski will also take on the role of ‘on-air personality’ for C. Wonder when it hits its exclusive vendor, QVC, in spring 2016, according to WWD.
The television personality and celebrity stylist is most known for his role as a co-host on E!’s show “Fashion Police.”
He also has an incredibly accomplished background in the fashion industry, having worked for Vogue, Rachel Zoe, W Magazine and Kate Spade New York among others.
“I want to make people feel excited and wonderful. I want them to feel that they are ready to have the best day of their life,” Goreski told WWD on his new position.
The new C. Wonder products, which will include apparel, footwear, and accessories, will retail from $US29 to $US34 for tops and up to $US248 for certain handbags, according to WWD.
The brand has plans to roll out a more diverse selection of merchandise down the line.
At this time Xcel doesn’t have any plans to open any brick-and-mortar stores.
However, Xcel, “would consider a global licensing business for stores after the wholesale business infrastructure is in place,” according to WWD.
Xcel took ownership of the company founded by billionaire Chris Burch at the time of the acquisition last month, including its intellectual property rights, trademarks and related designs, according to a press release.
The brand management company is a relatively young as it was founded in 2011.
Some of the brands it owns and manages include Isaac Mizrahi, Judith Ripka, and H Halston. Another popular brand,
Liz Claiborne New York, is designed and distributed through Xcel.
After the Chapter 11 filing, Burch Acquisition, LLC acquired the label, “in order to explore strategic opportunities to re-develop and expand the C. Wonder brand,” according to the release.
Burch struggled in previous years to differentiate his label from ex-wife Tory Burch’s namesake retailer. This led to a lawsuit in 2012 in which Tory accused her ex-husband of copying her designs.
The two eventually reached a confidential settlement, which allowed Chris Burch to continue building his brand.
C. Wonder evolved into an affordable retailer with bright hues, preppy aesthetics, and traditional styles.
In 2014 it was named one of the top accessories companies by Morgan Stanley.
However, late last year when the brand started experiencing trouble it resulted to discounting merchandise even further in a bid to save the company, which was not successful.
The news of last month’s acquisition was promising for the future success of C. Wonder. It will be interesting to see what Goreski can do for the company.
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