CARRIED AWAY! - Clare Vivier
LA’s most beloved bag lady, Clare Vivier goes big-time with an upcoming Apple collab.
Clare Vivier’s success story is one that only could have happened in the digital age. Her first foray into design was with a line of minimalist leather laptop envelopes, which she conceived while working as a French television journalist. As Vivier puts it, these early pieces were designed for “working women and young women in college—there was nothing stylish for them to carry.” Their popularity led to a full-fledged, made-in-LA handbag collection, which is now rabidly coveted by women around the world, thanks to another invention of the Wi-Fi age: the blogosphere. “My blog was very important to my brand because I was self-funded,” says Vivier, 41, who has been posting about her travels, style inspirations, and design process since launching her line in 2008. “I didn’t have investors or family money to advertise, so I had to figure out a way to create a brand, and I did it through my blog.”
Today, the Clare Vivier brand is marked by a refreshing simplicity—totes, clutches, and iPad sleeves rendered in rich-colored leather, devoid of needless embellishment—a style that appeals to fans like Katie Holmes and Rashida Jones. “It’s classic, but there’s always something a little ‘off’ about it, whether it’s a contrast zipper, a stripe or something else,” says Vivier of her aesthetic. For fall 2013, Vivier is experimenting with printed leathers, and she will also be launching a line of bags for men.
Although Vivier has lots of other exciting plans on the horizon for this year—including a boutique in New York and the beginning stages of a sandal collection—the most intriguing is an upcoming laptop bag collaboration with Apple, which brings her journey full circle. “It’s a really good time for Los Angeles designers,” she muses. “There’s a great community of talented creative people here who are very supportive of each other. And the rest of the world seems to be interested in what we’re doing.” Clare Vivier, 3339 Sunset Blvd., LA, 323-665-2476