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Pookie and Louisa Burch, the daughters of C. Wonder's Chris Burch (and previous stepdaughters of Tory Burch) have launched their own clothing line, Trademark , featuring upscale-yet-affordable pieces that the sisters describe as "classic, nostalgic and minimal." But one glance at the lookbook pictures for the fall 2014 collection, which debuted in February, and you know you're not in Chris Burch's preppy world anymore.
On the heels of Trademark's first store opening in SoHo this June, Pookie, 29, and Louisa, 25, held a press preview for their second collection in New York's Starrett-Lehigh Building. Their fall pieces include loose waffle-knit sweaters, classic army jackets, wool-textured track pants, paneled dresses and oversized pea coats. The fall collection will retail from $200 to $300, with outerwear pricing a bit higher.
Combing through some sculptured toggle coats, Louisa described how important they felt it was to keep the clothing within the contemporary price range. "The idea is to make the clothing affordable but still make sure the quality is [as] important. We want clothes that actually keep you warm. There's a purpose for them, not just cheap stuff that you'd have to go buy something new the next season," she said.
Trademark's Fall 2014 collection.
The sisters have spent almost four years working on their clothing line. Louisa comes fresh out of NYU, citing internships as some of her experience in fashion, and Pookie has a background in photography and was previously working for Carolina Herrera. The inspiration to start the line came from wanting to fill a void for clothing items they couldn't seem to find. Louisa said she was constantly on the hunt for a baggy, men's-style sweaters but couldn't find anything that fit well enough— hence why their fall collection is rich with fun and roomy pullovers.
"It's about making stuff that you've always known but revisiting them. We're evolving the classic item, like a pea coat, or a striped t-shirt, and evolving things you can relate to at an accessible price point. Identifiable items but with a twist in a modern way," Pookie explained. "The clothes are easy to wear, they are things you can wear day to day, like more of a uniform, where there's not a lot going on and it looks different all the time," Louisa added.
The name of the company, which WWD noted isn't intended to drudge up the Tory Burch versus Chris Burch legal battle over trademark, sort of happened by mistake. Louisa said they were brainstorming for a while but couldn't find a name that wasn't already trademarked. After joking about using the actual term, they warmed up to the idea of giving their line a name stands for legally-bound individuality.
Trademark's Fall 2014 collection.
Like a number of the fashion industry's pairs of sisters working together (think Dannijo or The New Potato), the siblings explained that their personalities are "very different but also similar," and they split the work accordingly, with Louisa heading operations and Pookie directing the creative side.
While their father, Chris, is Trademark's sole investor and partner, the clothing line has nothing of the whimsical C. Wonder feel or the bohemian Tory Burch vibe. The sisters said that while their father stays involved, they are trying to do their own thing as they develop their touch of style.
With the fall collection's felt totes, slippers that fall on the Normcore spectrum, and lofty turtlenecks, the crisp, minimalist, sophisticated look Trademark has seems very familiar to J.Crew, but the sisters said they weren't looking to compete.
"When we started Trademark, our idea wasn't to do something that already existed, because everyone does everything really well. J.Crew does it really well," Pookie said. "It's more like we felt there was something missing. We're rooted in classics, the pieces are feminine, but with utilitarian shapes."
Take a look at the paired-down prep of the girls' first fall collection below: