The Burch Girls Launch Trademark-------
Over lunch in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood, Pookie Burch and her sister Louisa Burch sit in wonder as they recount the three-year journey that has transformed them from two girls with an idea to full-fledged brand owners of Trademark, their new sportswear label, which launches exclusively online next month. “We wanted to create something at an attainable price point with really simple, thought-out designs in classic and recognizable silhouettes,” Pookie, 29, tells Style.com.
Though the duo are first to admit that they’ve had help along the way—their brand is backed by father J. Christopher Burch’s investment company, Burch Creative Capital, while former stepmother Tory Burch is available for guidance—they’re also just two girls who are working hard to make their mark in fashion. “We learn best by making our own mistakes,” Louisa, 25, offers. “It’s been a process of understanding all the different steps it takes to get something to be where it should be.”
Trademark’s aesthetic is an extension of the pair’s own collective fashion experience, which includes summers spent in Nantucket searching for the consummate sweater; scouring Tokyo or other exotic locales for inspiration (much to Pookie’s dismay, as she hates flying); collecting Breton-striped shirts (Louisa); or even eavesdropping on Chris or Tory’s phone calls during car rides from suburban Philadelphia, where they were raised, to New York.
Their stock will be replenished with new styles every month, and is comprised of beautifully constructed garments that reflect the girls’ reserve and practicality. For their first outing, the lookbook for which debuts exclusively here, sporty tech nylons, structured piqués, cotton poplins, and silks are fashioned into modern shirtdresses, full skirts, lightweight jackets, and suits inspired by American nostalgia and the modern art of Josef Albers, Donald Judd, and Barnett Newman. Accessories include resin and wood bangles, gold-plated brass and silver jewelry, and leather-worked sandals and handbags.
Their brand director, Alex Hawgood, is in charge of menswear, and has been with the duo since the beginning. “He’s the fourth Burch sister!” Pookie jokes. (The third, Izzie, recently completed her associate’s degree in fashion design at Parsons, but has no plans to join Trademark yet.)
In addition to the website launch, the pair are planning to open a boutique on Soho’s Grand Street in April—and they’re doing it all with an intimate team of ten full-time employees, most of whom are under the age of 30. “Our working environment is really relaxed,” Pookie says of their Chelsea headquarters. “There are a lot of sneakers…sneakers and dogs.” Louisa’s quick to interject, “Please don’t get her started on her dog!” They may be retail moguls in the making, but sisters till the very end.
Trademark’s e-commerce site www.trade-mark.com will launch mid-February 2014. Prices range from $28 to $440.