WORKING MAMA: CLARE VIVIER

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YOU ARE THE WONDERFUL MOTHER OF OSCAR, A KIND, STYLISH AND VERY HANDSOME BOY. ALSO, A BEAUTIFUL LOVING WIFE AND A SUCCESSFUL BAG DESIGNER OF CLARE V.

HOW DO YOU MAINTAIN A BALANCE BETWEEN BEING A MOTHER AND HAVING A CAREER?

I just do my best. I try and be as flexible as I can and make myself available to Oscar when he needs me. To be honest, these past couple of years my husband has really stepped in and held our household together, shopping, cooking, soccer and school pick-ups. I’m very fortunate in that way, but for Oscar’s first years it was the opposite – he was traveling and I was home. I just always try to do the best I can and remember that no one is perfect.

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DO YOU FEEL MOTHERHOOD CHANGED YOUR CAREER AMBITIONS?

I had started down the path of bag designer before I had Oscar, but once he was born, I was first overwhelmed with motherhood and then in love with it. So for the first 3 years of Oscar’s life I was a stay at home mom, when he started pre-school, I went back to pursuing my dream on the bag company. I’m happy that the events happened this way because being a mother has certainly made it more clear to me what’s most important. I love my family and also have a deep passion for building my brand and I don’t think one is exclusive of the other. I think it’s just made those passions more clear to me.

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ARE THERE TIMES WHEN YOU FEEL IT IS A STRUGGLE TO CHOOSE BETWEEN WORK AND BEING A MOTHER?

Absolutely. There are often work trips that come up which conflict with events in Oscar’s world. Those are the tough times when I wish I didn’t have to choose. But I feel so strongly about my brand and my family is so supportive of what we’ve created. I’m hoping it’s a great lesson to teach Oscar about perseverance and dedication and what it takes to make something work.

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IMG_8444ONE OF THE THINGS I FIND TOUGH IS LOOKING AFTER MYSELF AS I TAKE CARE OF EVERYONE ELSE’S NEEDS FIRST? IS THIS TRUE FOR YOU TOO? WHAT ARE SOME OF THE THINGS YOU DO TO MAKE SURE YOU ARE TAKEN CARE OF?

I always make the time to see my friends, which is an instant mood lifter. I think it’s so important to try and strike that balance if you can, and continue to nurture the most important relationships in your life as you grow. That, and a little bit of shopping, is a quick way to take care of myself.

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DO YOU HAVE ESSENTIAL ITEMS TO KEEP YOU RESTED, STRESS FREE AND FOCUSED?

An eye mask and Beats by Dre headphones. Both are huge helps when I’m traveling so much and can instantly take me out of whatever crazed scenario I’m in and help me attempt to relax. Plus, I’m a huge Decleor fan and always have some of my favorite products on hand with me for an instant refresh.

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WHAT PRODUCTS CAN YOU NOT LIVE WITHOUT TO KEEP THAT LOVELY HEALTHY GLOW YOU HAVE GOING ON???

My Decleor products are quite important. I love using their Cleansing Milk and Aroma Night Balm best to keep my skin deeply moisturized. And I always have either Rodin Lip Balm or Kjaer Lip Color in my bag for a quick pick me up no matter where I am.

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HAS YOUR PERSONAL STYLE CHANGED AS A MOTHER? CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE?

I think it’s quite easy to let your style fall by the wayside when you become a mother and certain other priorities become more important, but I think design and style is such a huge part of my life and job that their importance has never waivered. I tend to favor simpler pieces for day to day, even the girls in the office tell me I have a uniform of cropped jeans, loafers or broques of some sort and a button-down. For nighttime or events, I am drawn to more statement pieces and have accumulated quite the collection of vintage over the years. I also think the French are more concerned with remaining attractive after parenthood – there’s a public conversation about “not letting oneself go” which I find amusing – and probably influential. Ha.

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OSCAR IS ALREADY QUITE THE STYLISH LITTLE LAD, HAVE YOU INFLUENCED HIM OR DOES HE HAVE A NATURAL EYE FOR STYLE JUST LIKE HIS MAMA?

I’d like to think that I influenced him, but really he has a very discerning eye about what he likes and doesn’t like. He’s already 11, so he has a very strong sense of what he wants and what he’s drawn to. But I never bought him clothes with super heroes or junk like that, a white t-shirt is always best on a boy as nothing gets in the way of their cuteness that way.

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WHERE DO YOU LIKE TO SHOP FOR OSCAR AND WHO ARE YOUR FAVORITE KID’S DESIGNERS?

I think Crewcuts (J. Crew for Kids) is a failsafe that I’ll never tire of – mostly sale items of course. I have also been shopping for years at Tomboy Kids in Silverlake, which is very close to the CV Silverlake shop. I discovered ESP No1 Jeans there and my son has lived in them for years.

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TIME IS PRECIOUS WITH OUR BABIES, NO MATTER WHAT THERE AGE IS. IS THERE SOMETHING SPECIAL YOU AND OSCAR DO WHEN YOU HAVE TIME ALONE TOGETHER?

We love going for hikes as a family, going to museums or long walks around Griffith Park. I think quality time is incredibly important, so we can be sitting in the house working with his rainbow loom or picking up dinner from our favorite restaurant and I always try and make the time count. Also, if I’m working on my computer in bed I ask him to come in and read or draw next to me and we listen to music as we work. It’s the best.

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AS PARENTS WE ALL STRUGGLE AT TIMES WITH PARENTING. CAN YOU SHARE WITH US WHAT HAS BEEN THE BIGGEST SURPRISE IN PARENTHOOD AND THE TOUGHEST THING YOU HAD TO LEARN?

I think one of the toughest is probably when you get really angry at your kid and then you feel like the biggest asshole afterwards. You really have to have someone to call in those moments – your partner or a good friend. My friend Nat and I call one another and empathize with one another when we’ve had a bad parenting moments. It’s hard because these little ones can be such jerks and we cannot control them (they’re their own individuals!!) which sometimes pushes us right over the edge and that’s not fun.

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IF YOU COULD SHARE SOME ADVICE WITH OUR MAMA’S WHO WANT TO START A CAREER AFTER HAVING A BABY, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

To give yourself time to figure it all out and cut yourself some slack. The more rigid you are with yourself, the less room you’ll have for growth. You can’t grow without making some mistakes along the way and if you give yourself room to grow from them, all the better.

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AS A BIG FAN ON YOUR BAGS, WE CAN NOT LEAVE OUT THE FACT I HAVE BEEN PUSHING FOR A DIAPER BAG SINCE THE DAY I WAS PREGNANT… DO YOU THING WE WILL SEE ONE COMING OUT IN THE NEAR FUTURE?

I have a few friends who have asked and I really love the Overnighter as a Diaper Bag for new moms. It has plenty of room for everything you might need to carry and comes in great colors that allow you to still express yourself. I used the Tropezienne as a “mama” bag with a bunch of clutches inside for the different things you carry for your kid. It was perfect. As for a “diaper-diaper” bag – I don’t know!! Still undecided. 🙂

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IN THE MEAN TIME WHICH CV BAG DO YOU FEEL IS THE BEST FOR A MAMA ON THE RUN, WHO WANTS TO LOOK CHIC YET PRACTICAL AND CAN THROW IN EVERYTHING YOU NEED FOR THE DAY?

See above

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To check out Clare Vivier’s beautiful bag collection click here to take you to her super chic website. If you live in the LA or NYC area make sure to visit the superbly designed store for more European goodies, hats, greeting cards, perfume and candles.


CLARE V. FLAGSHIP
3339 West Sunset Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90026

(323)665-2476
Monday – Saturday 11AM to 6PM 
Sunday 12PM to 6PM

CLARE V. – NEW YORK
239 Elizabeth Street
New York, NY 10012

(646)484-5757
Monday – Saturday 11AM to 7PM 
Sunday 12PM to 6PM

 

Photos by Lauren Moore

 

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