C.Wonder… wonderful or not?
Since I have morphed into a crowd-averse shopper – definitely bi-product of living in New York – I avoid clusterfuck sample sales (except for DVF) and Soho during the weekend. What a nightmare that neighborhood is on a Saturday at 3 p.m. Crowded sidewalks, trash all over the street, tourists unaware of personal space boundaries, stores with stuff tossed everywhere – it’s just a mess and I can’t deal.
But on a gorgeous fall day, I couldn’t say no to a stroll down there (avoiding Broadway religiously and only taking side streets) to see the new C.Wonder store that is being aggressively advertised in NYC cabs. Founded by Chris Burch, Tory’s VC ex-hubster, the store is Stage 2 Tory … it’s an explosion of gold (+1, my favorite metal), lacquer finish furniture, Chinoiserie, J.Crew jewel-tone prep, Tory’s over-logo-ing with a shot of Anthropologie’s funky housewares and Lily Pulizter’s Palm Beach each thrown in. It’s a lot. And while I wanted to hate on it for being over the top, I kind of liked it. I wouldn’t buy 3/4 of the stuff in there, but it was fun to look around. Plus we saw Kelly Ripa… man, she is tiny.
I was utterly ambivalent about the clothes because they’re overbranded with branding that has no equity yet (I guess they have to start somewhere), but the housewares and accessories were really fun with great wallets (got a black leather zipper wallet), crazy ikat-patterned nesting bowls and cozy, monogram-able throws that are easy and reasonably priced gifts. The check-out was fun too because there are no registers, it’s all done on iPhones. Kind of awesome. So as you get in your holiday shopping frenzy in the coming weeks, this is a great place to start finding some hostess-y kind of gifts. And for those non-NYC readers, C.Wonder’s e-shopping experience is coming soon, but for now you just have to content yourself perusing their Facebook page.