Moms Who Inspire: Designer Clare Vivier

April 21, 2017

Before beginning her career in fashion, Clare Vivier worked with her husband, Thierry, a French journalist and producer. During their frequent travels across Europe, she couldn’t help but notice something: although technology continued to get smaller and more attractive, her laptop bag remained as clunky and utilitarian as ever.

Today, Clare’s an internationally renowned designer known for her eponymous collection of chic, Parisian-inspired bags for women on the go. But 13 years ago, she found herself questioning her future in fashion after having her son, Oscar.

Clare’s in the middle of a particularly busy spring—she’s preparing to open her seventh store in San Francisco, and Oscar’s about to graduate from eighth grade—but we caught up for a quick chat about modern motherhood.

You had just begun to conceptualize your bag collection when you had your son. How did this influence your path?
When I had Oscar, I was kind of overwhelmed. I was like, “Whoah—this is a lot of work.” I was able to stay at home with him for the first couple years, and I was so happy to be able to do that. One of my favorite things has always been waking up to the pitter-patter of little feet running down the hallway. Kids are so joyful, and that joy is a joy to wake up to.

But at the same time, I became wistful. I regretted that I had let my dream go, that I had this great idea and I hadn’t pushed it. Of course, I was very fulfilled by being Oscar’s mom. But there’s this eternal question you have as a woman: “Am I completely fulfilled by being a mom?”

Once your collection got off the ground, how did you find balance?
When Oscar was in preschool, it was a great motivator for me in terms of time management. You really have to work during the times you have available, and I was very structured—I went out to the factories at the same time every day and was strict with my own deadlines. It was actually very motivating as I was starting out.

Do you think Oscar will follow in your creative footsteps someday?
He’ll be attending Los Angeles County High School For The Arts in the fall, so I think so! Although I do think he’s already a better artist than his parents.

How do the Viviers celebrate Mother’s Day?
I love to go on hikes on the weekends. Sometimes I can get Oscar to go with me, and sometimes I can’t—but on Mother’s Day, he has to go. It’s one of the best times we have together—it’s just us, no technology, walking and talking and enjoying nature.

Shop the collection: see new arrivals from Clare Vivier.

Make Mother’s Day: very special Mother’s Day Gifts.