On a bright February morning, accessories designer Clare Vivier, in cropped jeans and a white sweatshirt emblazoned with the word “Discotheque,” surveys her airy, sun-soaked boutique in Brooklyn’s brownstone-filled Cobble Hill neighborhood.
“It’s kinda indescribable. I do it all by feeling. I just fell in love,” she says of scouting the location a year ago. “Every time I’ve been on this block it’s been a sunny day.”
Vivier, who had been looking to expand her retail footing in Brooklyn, started her search in Williamsburg but felt the neighborhood “was not very special.”
Her new spot — the second New York City location for the Los Angeles-based Clare V. brand — located on charming Bergen Street, next door to Aesop and the upcoming Warby Parker, reminded her of home.
“We loved the community, we loved all the families walking by. It felt very similar to the community we have in Silver Lake,” says Vivier.
Another plus of the space: a communal garden. Vivier plans to host dinner parties come Spring.
The designer, known for her colorful clutches and chic bags, worked with designer Kate McCollough (sister of Proenza Schouler designer Jack) to convey her SoCal and Parisian style. In addition to leather totes and bright cross body bags (“in New York black bags sell more so we always stock them”) items like copies of “The Paris Review” and ceramics from California-based artist Rami Kim are available. The chevron floors help transport shoppers to the City of Light.
But the best representation of her Frenchie-in-the-city aesthetic is perhaps her new Ines shoulder bag wrapped in a Jane Birkin-esque net tote.
“We’re covering a really beautiful leather bag with this Netty bag and it’s kinda silly, it’s kinda cheeky, but somehow I really love it,” she says.