Friday, March 27, 2009

Maison VIVIER features Deedee Cheriel

Last night, we held our first Maison VIVIER salon. The wonderful Echo Park-based artist, Deedee Cheriel, was the subject of our first salon. She filled our house with her colorful paintings on Tuesday night and that night I had dreams that the house was being burgled and I panicked because I would never be able to pay her back. It was like my version having the Hope diamond in my house or something. I mean, not they equal that in dollars, but come on, how do you repay someone for ther life's work? Anyway, it didn't happen and I was so happy to wake up and come downstairs to the sunny house beaming with these amazing paintings.

Here's defintion of our new salon series:
"Clare Vivier, owner of VIVIER – an LA-based bag company - will be hosting a salon with painter Deedee Cheriel. The evening will include a viewing of recent works, a talk by the artist and conversation in the salon style. The salon dates back to the early 1600’s in France when a young noblewoman set up an alternative space to view and talk about art. Clare’s mother has run a successful, weekly salon in St. Paul, MN for the last 7 years, which has become a forum for poetry, politics and art. Clare has brought this family tradition to the west coast."

My mom's salon's are way more esoteric, like the topic of her's this week is the healing powers of poetry, but still...

our salon took place last night without a hitch. (Mostly due to the efforts of VIVIER's creative events director and wonder woman extraordinaire, Else Henry.)

About 50 people came so it was a little hard to have a real conversation about her art, but the best part was when everyone stopped chattering and listened to Deedee talk for about 15 min on her work. She said that her work is influenced by magical realism, growing up in the pacific northwest where she spent a lot of time camping and outdoors in general, and also by her half Indian heritage (among other things).

I'm so sad to see it go. She's packing all the work up now, as I write.
But at least she's leaving a few behind for us at Maison Vivier to remember when our house was filled with Cheriel. Yay!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

pas de malaise en malaysia

I had some good press before and after the TDC event, it's been very exciting for me!, Angeleno Magazine, fashion rules blog, and Tasha Nita Adams, super fab blog Blackburn and Sweetzer and I just had my first interview - published on a fashion blog called Shopaholics Anonymous. It was a good interview and here's what we talked about:

How Vivier started and how long it has been in the market?
It started after making myself laptop bags to travel with with. Then a couple of years ago I started making my friends bags, at the time there weren't any chic but not stuffy, cool but not kitschy work bags for women. I still think the market is very limited.

What are the traits that sets Vivier apart from other designer bags?
I try to design bags which are classic with an edge of cool. Which I interpret to mean not going over the top - knowing where to stop with design.

Any idea on the ideal personification of a Vivier girl or woman?
So many of my smart & chic friends are my ideal, it's definitely a cosmopolitan girl who travels and is smart but also really into fashion - in a intelligent way - not a label whore kinda way. And I love Parisian girls like Charlotte Gainsbourg, that's my ideal VIVIER girl.

Where do you get your ideas from?
My ideas are generated definitely by the world around me, but they're also dictated by function and often I'm inspired by materials I want to work with.

Many designers tend to do the production in Italy or even China. What about yours?
This is very important to me - my bags are made in LA and I want to keep it that way. I love the idea of not having a large carbon footprint for the environment. And they are made at a sewing shop which pays the employees a living wage and where I can go and work on designs, cuts, and details with them from start to finish - so there're no surprises when I get the end product.

What are the materials you love working with?
I love working with remnant leathers - which I can only get in small supply but that makes each piece individual and very special. I also love working with cotton canvases - I love the natural fiber and the industrial side of it. And, recently I've been making bags out of deadstock canvases from the 70s and 80s, mostly prints. I love that there's a history to it.

Do you believe in the term "it bag" and being a bag maker,do you think it is important to have any of your bags being christened as an "it bag"?
No, I don't partake in the "it bag" game. I've never owned one nor have I ever had the desire. I can certainly appreciate a YSL or Chloe bag for certain aspects of their designs and craftsmanship, or a Goyard - again for the history [of the company], but I would never buy one because I would find it embarrassing to be that predictable. Now, whether or not I'd like to have a VIVIER bag an "It bag"? In the way that that translates into sales, by all means, yes! But it is not more important than knowing I'm making bags people I respect want to buy.

How often do people get confused between your brand and Roger Vivier's?
I have never had any confusion with Roger Vivier. My brand name is taken from my husband's family name and I liked the way it sounds. I think the two lines are very different in design and concept.

Have you seen any celebrities carrying your bags in the magazines or the tabloids lately?
Not in tabloids, but I do have celebrities carrying them.

Last but not least, what's next for Vivier? A world domination, perhaps?
Next for VIVIER is just the next step in having a successful company! It's a pretty new company in the sense that I've just had my first public showing (at the Taylor De Cordoba gallery - see my blog for an account of the evening: and I just got my first rep and showroom a few months ago (before that it was just me selling the bags on my website.) She's [my rep] opening new accounts, but we're being very selective as to what stores we're going into. They're selling really well in 3 of the chicest stores here in LA and I'd love to be in the equivalent of them all over the world!

Follow the Shopaholics Anonymous blog on my list of blogs I love.

Lastly, I just had to post this woman who I saw on the today. How many ways do I love her? That belt!

photo from

Saturday, March 21, 2009


"On Thursday night at the Taylor de Cordoba gallery, Clare Vivier showed that you can still buy lux items in the downturn – if the price is right and you give to a worthy cause at the same time. Vivier had her first public showing of her bag line – VIVIER -- at the gallery in Culver City. The event was a huge success both for VIVIER and for PS ARTS– a local nonprofit she has been working with for 5 years that aims to restore arts education to public schools. Vivier designed the evening called "Made Remade in the USA" both as a preview of her upcoming Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter lines as a part of LA’s fashion week, and as a benefit for PS ARTS.

The bags were creatively displayed throughout the gallery – patent leather totes hung down from the ceiling like bunches of berries and swings placed throughout the room were loaded up with VIVIER’s newest works, including her signature foldover clutches – pennywise chic as she calls them – all made from recycled leather and limited in edition. The backdrop to the bags was the currently on view work by Melissa Manfull.

The line at the sales table all night was a sea of well-heeled fashionistas and young hipsters, alike."

mmm hmmm...

oh, and did you see this? VIVS on yay.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

clothes swap

I've got my boy watching Sunday morning TV so that I can get some work done for this Thursday's show at TDC and what do I do? I decide that I've GOT to take a picture of the beautiful neckline of the black velvet dress I filched (not in so many words) at Ana's clothes swap yesterday. I have to say, I've never been into the idea of such a gathering before, but Ana saved the day with 3 vintage dresses that had my name on them. And I kinda wish I'd pushed harder for Chinami's 80s Armani suit, though. Which looked a lot like this:

YSL Fall 09 from

In other words, I'm procrastinating. But the neckline is pretty stunning, right?

Friday, March 13, 2009

last of the mohicans

I love Bo and Kevin. Check out their blog:

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

cartable POP

So I'm getting ready for my first public show, more like a party, more like a heart attack, stress out fest, at the beautiful and very cool gallery Taylor De Cordoba. And I'm thinking to myself, what does the show need? Well, my bags definitely err on the side of classic and unadorned. I'm a true believer in less is more, however I don't think the mass public feels that way. And the objective is to actually sell bags as we're giving proceeds to a really great organization called PS ARTS. Perhaps the show could use a bit of color - so I'm thinking of painting on some of my bags - yes, painting, since they've already been made I cannot have them silk screened. Anyways, last night looking for ideas I played on photoshop. Here's my classic bag - the Cartable - one of my earliest designs for a work bag (which sold like crazy after daily candy did a piece on it) avec un petit peu de pop.

Now I'm off to do a little excruciating in person self promoting on the set of a TV show - behind the scenes of course. My friend works on the new show (with 2 really great actresses who I actually respect and think are super funny,) so she invited me there to present my line to the stylist and also to "gift" bags to the actresses. I know, it's completely dubious and potentially ridiculous, but since I actually like these girls, I'll give it a try. I saw one of the Rodarte girls last month speaking on how they never wanted to give their wares to celebs because that was just so not what they were about. I can't think of it being further from what I am about either, but I also hear that these celebs influence sales as pathetic and un cool as that sounds. Okay, enough. I'm off.