60 SECONDS WITH...
Christopher Burch, CEO and entrepreneur behind international women’s fashion brand CWonder, which has just opened a second branch in the UAE in Bloomingdale’s, The Dubai Mall.
What draws you to women’s fashion?
I love that women love to purchase and I enjoy giving them things they like to buy. When I started my first business straight out of college in the 1970s, fashion trends were very similar to what we have today. I focus on classics and they keep repeating themselves time and time again.
Tell us about CWonder.
It’s about offering great value, colour and unique products that are affordable to customers. Monogramming (decorating with initials) is an important style point for us. I focus on injecting a true sense of personality into everything.
Why do you think CWonder appeals to women living in the Middle East?
C Wonder is all about bright colours and lots of energy. So it’s the perfect match. We have two stores in Dubai now and I’m very excited to say we are opening in Turkey, Hong Kong, Colombia, Mexico and Qatar. And we have our five stores in the USA – our flagship store is in SoHo, New York.
What do you think of the rising popularity of online stores?
Online is good for us (www.cwonder. com), but we believe in bricks and mortar. We want to make shopping a fun experience for women. Just like the movies; people watch films at home, but love the big screen at the cinema. We try to keep our in-store and online inventory similar.
Who is your style icon?
George Clooney. I like extraordinary, unique interesting people. Clooney is an interesting person and he dresses well. He looks good in casual attire.
What would you say is your favourite piece of clothing?
Well I have 50 pairs of shoes with different names and letters saying Love You, Smile, Sweet and so on. But my most favourite are my winter boots from British brand Brooks Brothers. They are so comfortable and perfect for outdoor adventures. I love the outdoors and playing sport, such as skiing in Aspen.
What are your staple items of clothing when travelling?
A pair of very comfortable pyjama pants to wear on the plane, a comfy T-shirt and a cashmere sweater that I drape around my neck as planes can get cold. I travel in pyjama pants and flip-flops. I like to be comfortable. People think I’m a bit odd but I don’t mind. I rarely wear a suit when I’m travelling.
For you there’s a strong connection between fashion and business, but could you see yourself making money another way?
Yes. I have hotels, (Faena Hotel Buenos Aires and Nihiwatu resort on Sumba Island in Indonesia), technology, real-estate companies and lots of different businesses, but fashion is my favourite.