Designer Clare Vivier Takes LA-Based Brand Global
Clare Vivier created her line, capsule Clare V., when she noticed a need for functional yet fashionable laptop cases. Clare V. designs marry classic French glamour and minimalist L.A. cool, which is a perfect representation of her own distinct aesthetic. Each season Clare always makes sure to pay careful attention to the delicate tension between modern detail and classic shapes, aiming to create bags that will stand the test of time in bold new colors, prints and textures. As the brand has grown, Clare has been incredibly fortunate to collaborate with amazing partners including Steven Alan, & Other Stories, GOOP and Apple among others. Her celebrity fan base includes A-listers such as Katie Holmes, Jessica Alba, Sophia Bush and more. “It’s always been important to me to be a part of the L.A. fashion and design community.” says Clare. From conception to fabrication, the line has been made exclusively in L.A. since 2008 – and available globally. She opened her very first flagship store Clare Vivier in the Silverlake neighborhood of L.A. in 2012 and the second store in 2013 in Manhattan’s Nolita neighborhood under the new name, Clare V. Plans for the future of Clare V. include expanding to more categories and becoming more of a lifestyle brand. Vivier attributes a 400% company growth since she brought on her investor group in 2013, which marked her seventh year in business. Currently Clare V. has 35 employees, 5 factories and Clare Vivier is one of the newest members of the CFDA which is a prestigious honor as a Fashion Designer.
NAME: Clare Vivier
OCCUPATION: Founder and Designer, Clare V.
COMPANY NAME: Clare V.
EDUCATION: San Francisco University
What was your inspiration to pursue your dreams?
I really created my company when I began to realize that what I wanted didn’t exist. I was working in TV at the time and wanted a really chic laptop case, which I just couldn’t find. The desire to create functional but still fashionable products for women like myself was what inspired me then and drives me now.
What are you wearing right now?
What has been one of your biggest career challenges? How did you overcome it?
I think any small business owner can attest to the fact that as the business grows, more challenges arise. As we’ve grown this business from working out of my home to three stores this November, we’re constantly having to adjust to new needs, demands and changes all around. It’s challenging but still so very exciting. I think the biggest challenge for small business owners is knowing when it’s ok to take the next step, whether that be with moving into a bigger space, or making new hires, etc. It is all very stressful. I overcome it by just taking one day at a time and trusting my gut. Also, I overcome things by talking to other people in business, mentors, peers, etc it helps to get other people’s perspective.
What is one of your greatest defining moments within the industry?
This year I was accepted as a new member into the CFDA, which has been an incredible experience. To be recognized by my peers and the design community as a whole has been very rewarding and I’m honored to be part of the organization that does so much for the industry.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
I was told to not be distracted by the competition, which I really think has served Clare V. well. It’s so easy to change course or make adjustments based on what others are doing, but I think it says more to stay true to what’s most important to you and stand behind the designs that are a true representation of you.
Beauty product you can’t leave the house without?
I should always wear mascara.
What’s your signature scent?
I don’t have one, but I wish I did. I really like Hinoki – Comme des Garcons and Monocle.
Heels or Flats?
I would love to wear heels all the time, but it’s not realistic for me.
What are you drinking?
Beyonce or Rihanna?
NYC or LA?
Lip Gloss or Lip Stick?
Eyeshadow or Eyeliner?
Clutch or Tote?
Laptop or Tablet?
Text or Call?
Coffee or Tea?
iPhone or Android?
Number Cruncher or Artist?
First designer purchase?
Gloria Vanderbilt jeans in grade school
Fall or Spring?
Boyfriend or Skinny Jean?
Both, but cropped.
Whose concert are you most likely to be front row at and why?
Prince, because I’m from MN and he’s in my blood.
Favorite social media platform?
When people don’t have good manners.
Slightly psychic, meaning I can usually predict the future of my friends’ relationships.
Sunrise or Sunset?
I have two: “One day at a time” and “Standing up straight is half the battle”.
List your 3 best strengths.
Big picture thinking, positivity, usually unflappable.