Clare Vivier | Apiece Apart Woman
Through Monday, Oct. 23, enter our giveaway for the chance to win $1000 to APIECE APART + an exclusive bag by Clare V. Full details and entry form here.
In 2008, Clare Vivier launched a line of simple leather handbags. Perfectly understated, timeless, and made to keep and use season after season, her namesake line quickly expanded past her Silverlake living room onto the arms of women around the world. Now with seven stores around the US, Clare’s brand has stayed true to its original sensibility — we’re so inspired by both Clare’s vision, and have long loved both her work and dedication to building a company by women, for women. To learn more, we visited her at home in Los Angeles to discuss the themes, inspirations, and ideas that tie together her creative life and career.
Please share more about your upbringing and personal history — looking back on your past, what has led you to where you are today?
I grew up the youngest of six kids in St. Paul. While I was interested in fashion from a very young age, social justice and activism were also instilled in me from both of my parents. It's something that is always top of mind for me — and so much so in the current climate — and why I'm so proud to continue to partner with wonderful organizations that are doing such great and impactful work like Every Mother Counts and our Vive La Resistance sweatshirt.
From St. Paul to Paris to LA and beyond, how has moving between places influenced your vision for Clare V?
Every single place has shaped me and my personal aesthetic. They're all home in one way or another and where my closest family and friends are and the cities where I spend the most time. Because of the amount of time I spend there, they tend to have the most impact on me.
We’re lucky if we follow any sort of a linear path as creatives, but themes are often present. What ties together your past creative lives?
It is funny, I definitely did not have a linear path to get to where I am — I didn’t graduate from college and say, 'I’m going to be a bag designer.' However, looking back I can pinpoint how every job I had and every creative endeavor I went on ended up being an important lesson or skill that I use in my current role. I wouldn’t say there’s something that ties together my creative lives, I’d just say it is one long evolution to get to where I am today. One thing that may tie things together though is my undying love for fashion, clothing, accessories, and general self-expression through attire that’s always been part of me and my creative output.
Name a recent personal win.
Opening our seventh store in San Francisco earlier this summer was a very special moment because of my own personal connection to the city (I went to college there and lived there for some time). It felt like a homecoming in a sense.
In what types of environments (literal and figurative) do you thrive?
As a product of a big family, I love having people around, but ironically I think there’s a different type of thriving I do when I’m alone — I like peace and quiet when I’m writing or doing very analytical work and lots of action when designing and mostly all other times.
Do you have any rituals or disciplines that help you move through the world less distracted?
I make sure to spend good time outdoors with my dog Paco on long restorative hikes and walks through Echo Park. I also savor those special Sundays when I get to stay in bed and read The New York Times cover to cover. Weekends are really my quiet time when I get to recharge; what they’re meant to be.
What practices bring you a sense of rejuvenation?
Travel always rejuvenates me. I adore traveling to NY for work often — there’s so much stimulation and then alone time in the hotel. Occasionally I’ll travel to Korea, Italy, and France for work as well, and I’m in love with all of those places. I always come back with a lot of inspiration.This year I traveled to Tanzania and seeing life on the other side of the planet was just so beautiful: the people, the landscape, the animals...it was the best type of rejuvenation I could imagine.
Please share a quote or personal mantra that inspires your everyday.
I have a couple — but I guess the one I come back to most is “keep moving forward.” It is pertinent in so many ways: progress, don’t look around — look ahead. Be innovative...all very important to keep re-remembering when you’re running a creative business.