Lifestyle: Fashion Matters

In The Bag

Handbag designer Clare Vivier gives us a peek
at what's in her signature bags, along with the scoop on
her effortless beauty routine.

Handbag designer Clare Vivier is known for her touch of Parisian charm. Everything she makes has the vibe of that cool French girl we all dream of becoming. And besides being a major fashion inspiration, we wanted to know what goes into her beauty routine as well. Here, we sat down with her to get the scoop on her whole aesthetic—from outfits to eyelash curlers. Read on to pick up some très chic styling tips of your own.

How did you get into fashion? What inspired you to start your own line?
I was working as a journalist in French TV and realized that I needed a chic case to carry my laptop in, and I couldn't find one that I liked. My first bag was designed out of necessity, and I've been creating to satisfy women's modern lifestyles and day-to-day ever since.

What drew you to handbags specifically?
Everyone can wear them and they can instantly make any outfit—and anyone—feel better about what they're wearing. You can rotate them out seasonally, and so many different women across so many different walks of life can all gravitate toward the same handbag. I love having that kind of reach.

Do you wear a different bag every day? And do you tend to match a bag to the outfit, or do you ever plan an outfit around a bag?
I tend to gravitate toward one for a few weeks and then move onto whatever else has caught my eye. Because we're working seasons ahead, it's always so hard—I get excited about bags that we haven't come out yet and cannot wait to wear. Usually I rotate between a few of my favorites of the season, depending on the color palette I'm feeling and the size of bag I'm looking for.

Describe your aesthetic in 5 words:
Gamine, Unfussy, Layered, Deliberate, Parisian.

How would you describe your approach to style?
Always collecting and always looking for new things, whether that's a quick scan online, walking through a flea market in France, or visiting some of my favorite vintage stores in Minnesota. I'm besotted by so much that I see that I find myself adding to my collection quite a bit. Which also means I have to "cull" my collection quite a bit—I regularly bring in clothing to my studio for the girls. That way I still get to see the clothing I love.

Who (or what) is your muse?
The ladies in my office. They never cease to inspire me or bring me new ideas.

Who is the Clare V. woman?
She's smart, she's independent, she knows what she wants, and she loves coming to us for both function and fun.

How many handbags do you have in your personal collection? Do you have a favorite?
Too many too count. Chalk it up to being an occupational hazard.

Would you characterize the inside of your bag as "organized"? Why or why not?
Definitely not "organized," but I like to think there's a method to my madness. I can always find what I'm looking for and I guess that's what matters most.

How would you describe your approach to beauty?
As streamlined and quick as I can make it. I don't like being bothered if I don't have to, so if there's a way to make it easy and simple, I'll take it. That said, I love a good product, and have so much fun trying new formulas and shades.

What is your everyday beauty routine like?
For everyday, I tend to keep it quite simple. Tinted moisturizer, blush, lipstick. Occasionally there's an eyelash curler and mascara. And, even rarer, eyeliner.

What are the beauty must-haves you carry with you on a daily basis?
I keep it all with me because I never know where my day may take me. I always keep tinted moisturizer on hand, mascara, lipstick and some sort of multi-stick that can double as blush or bronzer.

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