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July 31 2014

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Clare Vivier Unpacks Her Bags On Sunset Boulevard

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Considered a hometown hero of sorts among L.A. designers, Clare Vivier has made an impactful impression with her unfussy brand of simple, chic handbags. Since launching her eponymous collection in 2008, the designer has finally found a lasting home for her wares in the shape of her first stand-alone flagship in L.A.’s Silver Lake. “It was our time to create this whole atmosphere that really tells the story of the brand,” Vivier says of the new store (opening today) that tells said story—and speaks to her steady growth. Her range of made-in-L.A. handbags have resonated because of their functionality and, more importantly, because they’ve been an apt antidote to the saturation of luxury label overload. “It was that perfect timing when people were inundated and done with the designer It bag. It felt very special, made in California, and they were good-looking pieces but not at a luxury market price.” (The clutches come in at around $150 each.)

The 750-square-foot space (pictured) was designed by L.A. architect Barbara Bestor to bring a taste of Paris to the east side of L.A.—a point of reference that often informs Vivier’s unfettered aesthetic. The built-out white walls showcase the best-selling candy-colored fold-over clutches, totes, and select items from Steven Alan (a frequent collaborator). The store houses Vivier’s first foray into footwear, a sleek sandal from Italy that comes just in time for summer, and a men’s accessory collaboration with Steven Alan again come fall. “I’m always thinking about the working girl,” Vivier said of her decision to expand into extended accessory categories. And while she might eschew other luxury whims, the designer’s flagship will debut a new monogramming program that will allow for customization and made-to-order designs.

Clare Vivier, 3339 W. Sunset Blvd., L.A. (323)-665-2476.

Photo: Thierry Vivier

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