No matter what age, people always seem to jump at the chance to have their back-to-school moment. For the fashion community, that moment took place not in a classroom but under the pressed-tin ceilings and suspended globe lights of Keith McNally’s newest venture, Cherche Midi, on the corner of Bowery and Houston in Manhattan. Guests arrived from nearby 95 Grand Street, where they celebrated the opening of Trademark’s inaugural storefront, a sleek three-level space with poured-concrete floors and bird’s-eye maple walls. “It’s like Céline!” said Carlos Mota happily, who quickly purchased a T-shirt and a pair of pants for himself. A chic variety of supporters came out to celebrate Pookie and Louisa Burch’s fait accompli. From the pair’s former stepmother, Tory Burch, to fellow designers Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen and Olivier Theyskens to downtown denizens Harley Viera-Newton, Leigh Lezark, and Shala Monroque, all happily—or regretfully, for some—returned from vacation. Viera-Newton and Jen Brill were both in Montana, fly-fishing and hiking, respectively. Derek Blasberg was back from Burning Man and living to tell the tales. Shala Monroque returned from her native St. Lucia two nights earlier and was having trouble adjusting to the Fashion Week hustle. The consultant and editor is styling the Azede Jean-Pierre show for the first time, so she is hunkering down to focus on that.

Guests were treated to a choice of salmon or filet mignon—a delicious substitute for the vaunted prime-rib burger heralded by all of New York City and most of Brooklyn. Pookie was seated across from best friend Isabelle McNally, and McNally cooed over Trademark’s fall lookbook, which was tactfully placed on guests’ chairs. “It’s like a zine! It’s beautiful!” she crowed. Pookie looked on proudly, explaining all the specifics that went into the shoot. It was clear she was having no trouble establishing her trademark.

After all were seated, Christopher Burch stood with Pookie and Louisa’s mother, Susan Cole, to make a speech. Despite opening with the admission, “My daughters Pookie and Louisa told me if you ever get up and give a toast, I’ll never speak to you again,” this didn’t seem to stop him, and he continued: “I’m fortunate enough to be Pookie and Louisa’s partner, and I mean that like this”—he made air quotes with his index and forefingers—“ ‘Dad, please stay away.’ So today was the first time I got to see the store, it was the first time I got to see the product in real life! So I’d like to give a toast to Pookie, who could be one of the most talented people in the world, one of the most creative, one of the most caring . . . and to little Louisa, who is unbelievable. She told me once, ‘You know, everyone thinks I’m twelve; that’s why they think I’m so bright.’ Well, you’ve proven today, Louisa, with Pookie, that you’re beyond bright. You’ve built an amazing store, Pookie’s built amazing product, and the result is incredible. I can’t believe I’m the lucky guy who gets to go along for the ride.”

Everyone applauded heartily, happy to also be along for the ride.

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