we all have a list. a list that consists of the celebrities our spouses would give us a pass on if we ever met them in person (don't worry, that's not where this is going:) + the people in life that we're SECRETLY obsessed with for one reason or another...
You know...the non-celebrities that we've celebritized in our minds. The women we don't know personally but could recite where they've traveled to and what they ate for dinner last night based on our hawk like stalking of their lifestyle from afar on Insta...could be a designer of which we obsessively collect their jewelry, the on-the-go fashion mom we admire who happens to also look like the chicest mom or the woman who's smart ideas are as inspiring as her great hair. Clare Vivier has always been that celeb from afar for me. I met her for the first time two years ago at an Oscar's party in New York City that my good friends were having. They've known her for years through the building of her now cult-like following. I remember the giddy feeling of being introduced to her. Do I casually pull out my wallet (the black printed snake with bright green interior) to "get something" so she can see it's Clare V? No. No. No. Show some self control, Alia. You don't wear the concert t-shirt to the concert. In hindsight, while still incredibly awkward it would have been exponentially cooler than what ended up happening...but sometimes you just can't help yourself. "I have your laptop case," I blurted out. She had barely extended her hand for a pleasant "how do you do" handshake as my friend had just introduced us before my verbal outburst. No one knew what would happen next. I was relieved when she let out a laugh and said, "oh cool." This sums up the Clare Vivier I've come to know. A mix of laid-back Cali style (she's based near Los Angeles's very cool and continually emerging Silverlake neighborhood, home to her first Clare V shop) with the cool factor of Parisian style.
I love Clare's point of view on fashion, her cool-girl aethetic and how she's thinking about the accessibility of her brand. She's managaged to create a space in the handbag market that sits in price well below designer handbags but has the same style authority. There are only a few brands that make stylish handbags in the $150-$600 range and even less that can say they are all made in America. All Clare V bags are made in Los Angeles, something she's very proud of and she should be. The conversation of knowing where the clothes on your body are made...and how...and by who is becoming increasingly important. I compare it to the organic movement. Ten years ago outside of NYC and LA you couldn't find much organic and now it's Costco's largest business in the grocery department (a major mass US retailer with real estate all over the country). Buying into fast fashion means fast fashion has to keep up with our demand, which a lot of the time means compromising the working conditions of women and children abroad to achieve high productions. Many mass retailers are working to shift this but major- and life threatening- production disasters (factory fires, uncovering horrible working conditions and below fair wages) have raised the bigger issue of wanting to know where the fashion we are buying comes from...and a sense of pride and support for supporting our local communities. First and foremost I love a good Clare V bag, but moreover I love the ethics behind the brand.
On this week's Style Scouting Podcast, Clare brings us into her LA studio and then gives us an exclusive tour of her favorite hotspots in Silverlake. Of course, you can't go into one of your favorite designer's studios without picking favorites:) Shop my top five Clare V handbags for summer at the end of the post and please leave a review on iTunes, I would love to hear your feedback!
SHOP ALIA'S EDIT
1. CIRCLE ALICE BAG, 2. PETIT CANVAS TOTE, 3. NAVY CROSSBODY LUCE SADDLEBAG, 4. SIMPLE STRIPE TOTE, 5. FLAT CLUTCH
All PHOTOS BY NATHANIEL WOOD FOR THE STYLE SCOUT