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It was during home-ec class at high school in St. Paul that the stitch itch got celeb designer Clare Vivier.
“I loved learning to sew,” said Vivier, who nurtured that affection over the years, even listing ‘bag designer’ as her occupation on her marriage certificate long before she founded her eponymous leather goods line, Clare V. “I wasn’t [designing] yet, but I had the dream. I didn’t want to put anything else on it because it seemed like such a permanent document.”
The dream came to fruition in 2008, when she started selling her chic leather travel bags out of her LA home. “I started the company out of a need for a laptop bag for myself. There were either corporate-y female executive bags or bags for men; there was a hole in the market.” Now, Clare V. has six stores — four in California, two in New York City — and more than 200 accounts around the globe. Her Newport Beach boutique just opened, and she’s launched a men’s collection, MDCV, with Beastie Boys rapper Michael ‘Mike D’ Diamond.
Vivier’s success means a lot of travel, often between LA and New York. “I really try to fly Delta as much as possible,” says the Platinum Elite status-holder. “I [like] their easy upgrades and try to be in the lounges at every opportunity. I also have TSA PreCheck to cut down on lines at every airport.” For corporate purchasing, her company favors American Express to stockpile travel rewards Vivier recently redeemed for business-class tickets to Paris. She travels there twice annually for work and goes around the holidays to visit her husband’s family in the Loire Valley. As you might expect, Vivier is very particular about the essentials she flies with.
1. My Clare V. Weekender Bag
“Lately, it’s been the black leather, lightweight and very handsome. It’s big enough to hold a whole bunch of stuff: clothes, headphones, my laptop, magazines and my handbag. You can really pile it in and it sits right on top of my rolling suitcase.”
2. My Favorite Sleep Mask
“An eye mask and ear plugs are my keys for getting sleep after landing. The Dream Essentials Contoured Sleep Mask is actually shaped like a foam bra and doesn’t smash down your eyes and nose. Other eye masks can give me a headache, but this one help me sleep perfectly when I arrive.”
3. A Big Cashmere Scarf
“It’s essential for the airplane. I wrap it all around my neck [and head]. You can’t see much of me on an airplane; I look like a Bedouin or something. The scarf keeps me in my own private world and is conducive to sleeping. The one I’ve been wearing lately is one we sold from a company called Parachute.”
4. Beats Headphones
“They’re constantly in my bag. During flights, I’m more likely to watch movies, but before the entertainment system comes on, I’ll get into my own world by listening to my music on my phone. Beats is a great company. They live in our neighborhood, in Silver Lake, so they’re part of the community.”
5. Compression Socks
“I’m very particular about keeping my legs in shape. One time, somebody told me to prevent [varicose] veins, you should wear flight socks. They’re compression socks I pick up at my local running store, or you can also get them right in the airport. I always have three pairs in my bag.”
Follow Clare Vivier and her travels on Instagram.
What are five things you never travel without? Let us know in the comments, below.
Feature image courtesy of Clare Vivier.
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