If you thought I’d make a trip to LA and not include a pilgrimage to the Clare Vivier shop, you’re simply crazy. The beautiful retail space was our first destination in Silverlake. The corner store’s massive windows pour sunshine upon shelves of gorgeous goods.
The clean architectural lines of the painted-white space make an excellent backdrop for vignettes of vintage books, leather goods, lovely packaging materials, and well-curated non-CV jewelry, accessories, fragrances, etc.
The gold and black flat clutch below absolutely slays me with its beauty.
It was such a pleasure to see Clare again, to meet Greta, the lovely Store Manager, and of course, to just be there after following Clare’s designs and brand growth throughout the past few years.
Clare was kind enough to do a Q+A for Reasonably So, something that means the world to a tiny and inconsistent blogger like me. Here you’ll find my questions and her very thoughtful answers.
Emily: When did your style consciousness begin, and how did it evolve? i.e. Tutus and knee socks as a child? Leather and ripped denim as a teen?
Clare: It started when I was very little, I always would dress up in my mom’s clothes, wearing her slips as dresses, creating outfits, and convincing people that they were my clothes. My very stylish dad also helped with my fashion evolution, letting me carry his briefcase up and down the courthouse steps around age 8. I’d wear a blazer like him and I was convinced that other people thought I was a lawyer too. My love of fashion grew even more in high school when I would plaster my walls with pictures from magazines and use them for outfit inspiration. Throughout college I knew that I wanted to work in fashion, I just was unsure of how to make this dream a reality. The dream stayed with me throughout the jobs I held after college and once I found a way to make it work (when I started my line), I was very tenacious.
What is the process of conceiving a bag design like? Where do you begin?
My design process always begins with the materials. I find a material or leather that I want to experiment with and see what it can do, it always depends what the material or leather is conducive towards. My inspiration is always related directly back to the materials
Your line of bags was born from a need to be both practical and stylish. What aspects of everyday life inspire your style the most?
Work has always inspired me, it is how I began designing bags, as a working woman with a need for a bag that was stylish and practical. As the Clare Vivier line of handbags has evolved, I have continued to design with the working girl in mind. Always asking, would I carry it? It also helps to work with a bunch of stylish girls who all continuously inspire me!
Moving beyond the everyday, describe your ideal day. What would you do, see, eat and where?
I would wake up and play tennis with my husband at Vermont Canyon courts, we would then go to lunch with our son Oscar at a nice French restaurant where we could drink rose on the terrace and have a long and leisurely meal. Then we would go home to a very tidy house that has been cleaned by magical elves while we were away and hang out, go for a hike with our dog Paco and our son Oscar, and finish the day off by heading over to a friend’s house for a dinner party.
What is on the horizon for the rapidly growing Clare Vivier brand?
Haha, I don’t think we’re rapidly growing, but slow and steady hopefully! We are very excited for the debut of a small capsule men’s collection, which will be available in Spring 2013. We also have a lot of new designs debuting in Spring 2013 that I am very excited about. This fall we will be launching a new website that will make the Clare Vivier shopping experience even better, as well as including peaks into my life and the Clare Vivier studio.
So many thanks to Clare, for sharing her space, time, and words.
The Clare Vivier Store is at 3339 Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, California.