It all started in 2006 when Clare Vivier, then a journalist, couldn’t find a sturdy, stylish sleeve for toting around her computer. So, she decided to make one. “At the time, computers needed more protection. You know—when they were new, we all wanted to be really careful about our laptops,” Clare explains. “Now you can practically throw them around.”
After experimenting with all sorts of padding and quilted fabrics, she started working in leather, landed on her pared-down, sophisticated aesthetic, and got into the bag business. “I loved Bonnie Cashin-era Coach when I was young, how minimal the company was in its leather goods. Then I went to France and saw things that were just beautiful in their simplicity, without much hardware and other things going on,” she says.
Clare lived in Indiana, Minnesota, San Francisco, New York, and Paris (where she picked up a French husband and corresponding last name) before landing in Los Angeles. The city has proven to be a good home for her no-nonsense line of saturated navy messengers and slightly retro shoulder bags—she can do her designing from home (which means less time away from her seven-year-old son) and work with local factories. But lest you think she was always an ultra-polished sophisticate, you should know that Clare co-owned a hip-hop-inflected clothing store with an in-house D.J. in Haight-Ashbury during college.
Behind The Scenes
Clare Vivier Takes Us Vintage Shopping She does quite well for herself in Los Angeles, but some of her best finds come from her parents’ turf in Minnesota.Please accept the photo above as proof that the L.A.-based handbag designer Clare Vivier is an adept vintage shopper. “I didn’t even look at the label on this trench coat when I bought it. Then I got it home and saw that it was Bonnie Cashin for Sills, a line that’s no longer available,” Clare explains. She was kind enough to share her three go-to stores—two in her neck of the w... READ MORE »
Clare Vivier's Very Favorite Places in Silverlake The leather maven is a regular at these five spots.Clare Vivier practically owns her L.A. neighborhood: She has lived in Silverlake for a decade (yup, early adopter) and has her own store there. Basically, if you need someone to show you the ropes, she’s your girl, and she was kind enough to play tour guide.Taix“Taix is a really old-school French restaurant—the interior hasn’t changed in 30 years, and the waiters have been there forever. I love to eat steak frites in the bar area.” (taixfrenc... READ MORE »
Clare Vivier’s Three French Style Icons The designer identifies the critical components of Parisian style so that you too can put effort into looking effortlessly chic.“The first time that I went to Paris was when I moved there,” says Clare Vivier, whose bags have a certain no-fuss polish that would make those Frenchies proud. “It was really scary, but when you’re 24, you kind of just know you can do it.” These are the three women who constantly dot Clare’s inspiration board (pictured above) now that she’s back in the U.S. of A. Al... READ MORE »