Clare Vivier is not afraid of treading new ground. She has become a fashion-girl favorite with her eponymous handbag and accessories line, Clare V., fusing preppiness with elements of French-girl cool to great effect.
Since starting Clare V. in 2008, she has ventured into clothing, footwear and jewelry. Now, she’s taking on her next challenge: the beauty industry.
“Fragrance was something I’ve been wanting to do for a while,” said Vivier of her first perfume, Angie (50 ml, $95), which launched in November and is available at Clare V. stores and www.ClareV.com. “Scent can be so sentimental, and it seemed like a nice extension of the brand we’ve built, which has so many personal elements to it.”
One of those personal elements can be seen in the logo. The word Angie is written in the handwriting of Vivier’s late father, Manuel Guerrero.
“Angie is my middle name and what my family has always called me,” Vivier said. “We created the Angie logo from his handwriting on one of the many letters he sent to me over the years. It all ties into how fragrance is such a personal thing — and this one, particularly so.”
But it wasn’t only family that served as a muse for Vivier’s inaugural fragrance.
“I love how the fragrance evokes so many memories of my past, including the places I’ve lived,” she said. Vivier, who has seven U.S. stores, is no stranger to travel and passport stamps. “I’ve lived away from my family since I left for college in San Francisco. From there, I went to Paris and then Los Angeles.”
Working with Linda Sivrican from L.A.-based Capsule Parfumerie, Vivier handpicked scents inspired by the cities she’s called home or places that hold special memories for her.
“There are green notes from France, bright citrus from Italy, and hints of California chaparral,” Vivier said. “I particularly love the California element because [the perfume] is produced locally in Los Angeles.”
The result is an eau de parfum that fuses hinoki, bergamot and geranium with softer notes of citrus and cuir. “I leaned on [Sivrican] and her team to lead me in the right direction, knowing what I was looking for in an eau de parfum,” the designer said. “I’m used to working with my hands to shape and manipulate the bags we’re designing, always trying to get them to what I envision. With a fragrance you’re relying on such different senses and instincts.”
While the fragrance is Vivier’s first foray into the beauty arena, it will certainly not be the last for the designer. “Expansion into beauty is a big step for us,” she said. “The goal was to build out our brand beyond handbags. We know our customers come to us for so much more, and we are now in the position to round out the Clare V. lifestyle experience with a step further into the world of CV.”
For fashion news, follow us at @latimesimage on Twitter.