Over the weekend, I was racing through Soho in a late-night cab when I spotted a chic storefront emblazoned with a simple logo: Trademark. I spent the rest of the cab ride wracking my brain: Where had I heard that name before?
It was nearly 2 a.m., but I got a brief reprieve from sleep deprivation and hazily remembered several features and articles I had read about the label. The next afternoon, I paid the store a visit — and I am HOOKED.
First, a little background: Trademark was created by sisters Louisa and Pookie Burch, who were surrounded by retail from the womb. (Their father is J. Christopher Burch of the now-defunct C. Wonder and ex-stepmom is none other than socialite-turned-fashion-zillionaire Tory Burch.)
Trademark has little in common with the designers’ parental influences. The clothes were minimal, crisp and available in a pleasingly mellow 70s palette of burnt sunflower, pastel blue and navy.
According to both the lookbook and the sales associates, the spring collection was loosely inspired by the people and fashions of Southeast Asia, which isn’t immediately discernible– until you try on the clothes. (The store was also perfumed with incense, which was more literally evocative of the clothes’ inspiration — and delightful.)
Typically, trying on clothes is a necessary evil. But at Trademark, it was a treat. The wood-paneled cubbies feel like a chic closet, and the sales associates generously offered me a bottle of Evian. (Try getting THAT at Macy’s.)
Here’s what I tried on:
For all my moaning about statement sweatshirts, I guiltily enjoyed this pale blue Dehli-logoed version. For such an understated piece, the sweatshirt draped beautifully. And since I’m going to India this December, I nearly purchased this on the spot.
Thankfully, sanity prevailed. (I love this sweatshirt, but I just can’t pay full price. Let’s pray for a sale.)
Next, I tried this gingham bow-trimmed blouse. I normally don’t get too excited about blouses — they’re typically just a workday evil — but this was special. The sleeves are structured but loose, the side panels are expertly cut and the bow is detachable. This is the type of blouse that can go from work to weekend with zero effort and a touch of luxury. Easily my favorite find.
Another favorite: This transparent rain jacket, which reminds me of my Margiela sweater. It manages to balance a trifecta of simplicity, sophistication and wackiness. The whimsical side of me wises I could justify a $400 rain jacket. Alas, I may have to opt for this $75 Topshop version, available here.
But not everything was as successful for me.
This dress reminded me of my Moroccan djellaba, so I was eager to try a more finished version. While it looked gorgeous in the lookbook, I felt more like a dowdy housewife than a ravishing baroness fresh from a Mediterranean vacation.
This was even less flattering on me:
But the big winners, beside the separates, were the accessories. (I suppose I should not be surprised, as the Burch parental units successfully made the logoed ballerina flat the biggest trend since the Vera Bradley quilted bag.)
Overall, Trademark felt very fresh. The clothes are well-made, and at more reasonable prices than the closest competitors (Marni and Margiela, in my estimation). It’s exactly the kind of clothing I want to wear right this second — and I can’t wait to see where the designs go next.