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Q&A with Clare Vivier

Clare V. Santa Monica
Photograph: Courtesy Clare V. Clare V. Santa Monica

Designer Clare Vivier chats with us about her second LA store opening, the Clare V. name change, and expanding the brand. The Silver Lake resident with a flagship store in her Eastside nabe and a factory in nearby Atwater Village embarks west to Santa Monica’s chic Montana Avenue for local store number two.

Time Out Los Angeles: Congratulations on your second LA store. How does it feel?
Clare Vivier: It’s so nice because LA is so vast that I understand how hard it is to get across town. I’m thrilled to be able to not make people go across town and to be able to show the entire collection like this.

Time Out Los Angeles: Why did you choose this location, specifically?
Clare Vivier: We were invited [here] by Jim Rosenfeld who owns the space, he also owns Brentwood Country Mart. I came over and immediately liked the space. I like this area, so I thought, let’s do it.

Time Out Los Angeles: Your store is connected to the new Sleepy Jones shop. How did that come about?
Clare Vivier: Jim was also talking to Andy Spade at the same time and I love Andy—we knew each other from before—and I thought it was great synergy, so if Andy was going in, [I thought] we should go in.

Time Out Los Angeles: Both Clare V. and Sleepy Jones mesh well with together.
Clare Vivier: Yeah, there’s a good sense of classic aesthetic but also with a sense of humor.

Time Out Los Angeles: How come you changed the brand's name from Clare Vivier to Clare V.?
Clare Vivier: Well, there’s another designer with the last name Vivier, so we decided that we would just go with Clare V. and I think it works. I think it’s pretty chic and short and I think it goes with the collection, which is very classic and chic and succinct.

Time Out Los Angeles: What’s going to make this Santa Monica store different than the rest?
Clare Vivier: There’s a monogrammer in house here. There is one in the Nolita store in New York store but in the Silver Lake store they send it out to our studio, which is [nearby] in Atwater. Here, it’s in-store and you could get it monogrammed the same day.

Time Out Los Angeles: You’ve expanded from just bags and wallets to sunglasses, and other new products on the horizon?
Clare Vivier: We did some sunglasses with Steven Alan and we’re working on our first shoe that will be introduced in the Spring. We’re also getting deeper into men’s, which is good. Then we’ll also introduce some good dog leashes very soon because there are so many dogs in this neighborhood and we’ve had a lot of requests for it already.

Time Out Los Angeles: What’s next for Clare V.?
Clare Vivier: I think we’re going to do one more store in LA, probably in West Hollywood.

Time Out Los Angeles: So somewhere in the middle of the city.
Clare Vivier: Yes, because I love the idea of community shopping and you shop where you live. So a third neighborhood for us would be West Hollywood. We’ve taken over the space that A.P.C. used to be in on Croft and Melrose Avenue. We’ll be opening there probably [in] early March 2015.

Clare V. is located at 1318 Montana Avenue.