Fill a chic dining spot with pretty ladies dressed in their early fall lunching best, offer them glasses of Prosecco and delectable poached salmon, ply them with gift bags filled with monogrammed goodies, and watch brand excitement—not to mention loyalty—take shape. At least, that was the thought behind C. Wonder’s lovely soiree at Cafe Milano, a casual, private affair held to promote the store’s opening next month at Tysons Corner. About 20 local women, most quite schooled in the art of how and where to shop (kidding aside, this was a core group of dedicated retail enthusiasts), attended the lunch, which featured touches of the label’s signature whimsy.
For those unfamiliar with C. Wonder, the store has taken New York by storm with its array of products, from jewelry and home goods to apparel, shoes, and bags—things you might not necessarily need but that are exactly what you want. In fact, Cafe Milano’s owner, Franco Nuschese, so badly wanted the green, C. Wonder ikat-patterned plates used yesterday that he purchased an order for the entire restaurant on the spot. The concept is the brainchild of Chris Burch, ex-husband and business partner of Tory Burch, and he brings that same identifiable branding to C. Wonder: a cross between prep, luxury, and trendy cool. Chuck all that in with bright pops of color and a highly approachable price point, and you get why C. Wonders will soon be popping up all over the place, at least according to the company’s director of communications, Daniela Maron, who came in from New York to attend yesterday’s lunch. (Much of the chatter had to do with where C. Wonder will open next—Georgetown? Chevy Chase? Apparently both are strong possibilities.) While guests mingled and chatted, the group, which included Amy Baier, jeweler Sissy Yates, writer Susanna Quinn, Poshbrood’s Elizabeth Thorp, attorney Amy Donnelly, über-lobbyist Juleanna Glover, strategist Gwen Holiday, State Department senior adviser Tracy Bernstein, and philanthropist Mariella Trager, couldn’t contain its excitement about the huge, colorful gift bags lining the room. As soon as we tore into ours, we understood why—monogrammed with our initials were C. Wonder products, tote bags, travel cases, cheese plates, coffee mugs, and more. Add those to the enamel bangle bracelets at each place setting, and it was a good haul. Welcome to Washington, C. Wonder.