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Chan Luu
Robyn Rhodes
Paige Novick
Michelle Fantaci Jewelry
Amrita Singh
Phoenix Roze
May Yeung Jewelry
Satomi Kawakita Jewelry
Herndon Heald
Elizabeth Cotton
Nashelle Jewelry Design
Minor Obsessions
Meray Arnett
Gara Danielle Jewelry
Kara Ackerman Designs
Rachel Leigh Jewelry
Jester Swink Jewelry and Juxtapose
Waxing Poetic
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Cheryl Lynn Jewelry
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Dana Rebecca Designs
Gabriela de la Vega
Pretty Little Thing
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Gorjana Jewelry Collection
Corvus Noir
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Sophia and Chloe Jewelry
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Clare Vivier

Clare Vivier

A Parisian in Los Angeles: Irresistible and Utilitarian Handbags

Clare VivierLaunched in 2006, Clare Vivier handbags are chic, classic and unfussy without being boring.  The collection embodies “timeless style over trend, quality over hype, and progression over abstraction.”  Her inspiration behind launching Clare Vivier began when she started traveling a lot with her laptop and refused to carry it in one of the unsightly nylon bags available in the market.  Clare Vivier is driven by a utilitarian principal since most of her bags are created for a purpose instead of simply being a “hand bag.”  She describes her collection as more tame and less “adorned” than most of what is out there.  Clare proudly wears the moniker “locally made” as the line is based in Los Angeles with all items produced there or in Burbank. 

She has always had a creative side as she originally thought she would become a writer, as it is the most “artistic” way to express herself, aside from making bags.  Clare studied English at the University of San Francisco.  Her background is Mexican and Irish and she grew up in Minnesota.  While living in Paris for one year in 1995, she met her French husband.  After working for French television for years, she became fluent in French and considers French as part of her identity.

Clare VivierWithin her collection, La Tropezienne is definitely one of her favorite bags for its amazing vegetable dyed Italian leather and simple shape.  Available in brown or black, this 12” x 17” handbag is simplistic but extremely modern and durable for everyday use as it is the perfect size to carry your necessities, a laptop, magazines, and more.  “I think it speaks to a lot of people and I am happy about that,” Clare says.  She comes up with new ideas by seeing new materials, such as leathers.  She prefers working with vegetable or naturally tanned leathers as they just seem saner to her and more naturally beautiful.  Clare is the sole creator of her handbags, along with her assistant, Jocelyn, whom she bounces ideas off and appreciatively takes in her input. 

Actress Rashida Jones is a loyal customer and owns several Clare Vivier handbags.  Rather than feature a seasonal collection, she introduces new styles and colors when appropriate.  In terms of inspiration, heritage companies like LL Bean, Lands End (their 80s canvas briefcase is still among her favorites), and an old company called Gokeys which was made in her hometown of St. Paul.  Gokeys eventually went out of business but the company that manufactured it is still there and continues to make their bags under the label J.W. Hulme, which she adores. Her favorite contemporary bag maker is the talented Vanessa Bruno. 

Clare VivierFor our Editor’s Pick, we selected the Le Mini Sac, available in camel, red, and black.  This miniature purse is made of thick, buttery leather which only gets better with age and has a zipper top to securely hold belongings and a side solid brass buckle to accentuate its design.  Its petite shape of 6" x 4" x 2" makes it the perfect purse for a casual stroll or night out when you do not want to carrying a bulk of items but simply your bare essentials.  The mini sac in red stands out the most with its warm, cherry hue and contrasts beautifully against denim, black, or almost any other outfit.  At the moment, Clare is taking it one day at a time and enjoying her gift of being busy in the profession of my dreams, working for herself and being creative.  It is a dream that people are buying her handbags and allowing her to continue.  “If we’re lucky enough to keep the upward trajectory in what is often a fickle industry, I want to be where we are now, in Los Angeles and producing here, with a lot more stores and employees,” she says.

Clare VivierWe also selected the Remake Foldover Clutch as an Editor’s Pick for its innovative design and chic, understated style.  Vivier’s remake bags are made from remnant leather, which is leather that could not be used because of hide imperfections or there was not enough for larger productions.  All her remake folder clutches are limited editions and available in the four color groups as follows: Neutral Light (whites, creams, light greys), Neutral Dark (olives, dark greys, navy), Brights (yellows, reds, pinks, greens, bright blues) and Black, in varying textures.   Her clutches are available in three sizes to accommodate personal preferences.  Our favorite is the .11.5" x 11.5" in Black as it is large enough to hold all the essentials and sleekly folds over, making it elegant and practical. 

Her personal blog ( has been extremely instrumental in the creation of her brand as she shares somewhat (but not too) personal anecdotes about her life, style, things that inspire, and trials as a designer.  Clare very much enjoys and loves her blog because it has allowed her to be close to her customers or for them to be closer to her.  Clare says, “People have been so supportive and encouraging, it has been unexpectedly motivating.” 

Even though their store presence is growing almost daily, they continue to conduct most of her business on their website.  While it was worrisome at first and perhaps still is since there is no buffer between her and her customer, Clare has found the experience rewarding as she has met some of the nicest people.  She also works as in-house bag and packaging designer for local luxury companies such as the Viceroy hotels and Mannin jewelry.  Clare Vivier is sold at Holt Renfrew, Steven Alan, Mohawk General Store, Standard hotels, Ace Hotel Palm Springs, and many other locations as listed on her website.  Her full collection can be purchased on her website’s online store at


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