Lately you can’t walk around New York City without tripping over an up-and-coming fashion label. Each season brings with it another future superstar, but rare is the bright young thing who manages to bypass the “on the rise” phase and venture straight into supernova territory. Trademark is one such example. Launched last February by sisters Pookie and Louisa Burch—daughters of retail bigwig Christopher Burch, ex-husband of Tory—the line had buyers, editors and even designers (Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen are supporters) fan-girling over its fresh take on classic American sportswear.
Less than a year later, the sisters have already launched global e-commerce, opened a Soho boutique and presented their first pre-collection (Trademark’s preppy resort lineup is available on the site now). And while their father’s sterling fashion cred likely fuelled their full-speed-ahead growth, Trademark’s need-it-now appeal points to true vision on the sisters’ part. “The brand really resonates with a lot of people,” says Pookie (whose given name is Alexandra). “We’ve been told that it feels really new and different, like something that’s never existed before.”
Funny thing is, when you look at the collection, there’s nothing immediately revolutionary about it. The clothes are familiar, easy, almost basic: a wool peacoat, a chunky fisherman’s knit, a boxy denim jacket, a crisp white blouse. “We wanted to create pieces that people could take home and incorporate into their ‘trademark’ look,” says Louisa. But—and here’s the newness—it’s really, really not boring. “Everything we do is rooted in a classic idea, like a great trench, a simple skirt, a beautiful loafer or a tote bag,” says Pookie. “And then we think, How can we make it modern and move it forward but still keep its integrity?”
The winning formula so far seems to be one part clean and pared back, one part fun and offbeat (wide-leg trousers cut off at the ankle, shirt-dresses with different-coloured buttons, a short transparent rain jacket with red piping). Refreshingly, the minimalism at play here has less to do with the ’90s monochrome that’s so pervasive right now and more to do with ’60s and ’70s modernism, dialled up with geometric patterns and primary colours. It’s an aesthetic many have compared to Phoebe Philo’s Céline.
Except, of course, that you can pick up a structured plaid tunic at a price point the Burch sisters describe as “reasonable”—prices this season start at around $100 for a pair of earrings and top out at under $750 for an overcoat. Now that’s revolutionary.