Curious consumers didn't have to wait long to find out. In the words of yesterday's legal salvo, a "knockoff store." And the pictorial parade doesn't stop at the door -- but we're getting ahead of ourselves.
For those who haven't been following the nascent retail legal battle of the former Mr. & Mrs. Burch, each of whom still owns a substantial stake in the Tory Burch company, the opening shot was actually fired by Mr. B last month. The parties had apparently been involved in discussions regarding the series of similarities between the Tory Burch trade dress and the design of the new, cheaper chain and its merchandise. This resulted in some changes to subsequent C. Wonder outlets, evidently including the elimination of those green doors, but the two sides had yet not reached a written agreement -- a situation about which potential investors became aware and expressed reservations, to Chris Burch's dismay.
Instead of continuing to negotiate, Chris filed a complaint in Delaware state court, focusing not on Tory's concerns regarding copying but on blame for the delayed sale and on a series of allegations regarding the actions of the Tory Burch board. (It's hardly a dry and dispassionate corporate recital, however. From the use of the term "vicious" in the first line to repeated references to the former couple's respective prior experience, the document puts the "complaint" back in "legal complaint." In 2012, who goes to court and argues in essence that the woman whose name is on the label was really just the little woman? According to the company website, that should be the little CEO, please.)
Yesterday, Tory filed an answer to the complaint, denying its allegations, as well as an extensively illustrated series of counterclaims. Personally, I keep picturing the potentially pilfered pouf among other decorative elements and products -- in between reading descriptions of everything from breach of fiduciary duty and contract to unfair competition.
UPDATE, November 8, 2012: Yesterday the Delaware Supreme Court chided the garrulous judge for his digression in another case. Sounds like he'll keep courtroom observers -- if not the parties -- in stitches.