Dispatch from the Road

A Weekend Adventure in the City of Lights with Clare Vivier

by Clare Vivier
Clare Clare in her element. All photos courtesy of Clare Vivier.

French-inspired and L.A.-made, the handbag and accessory collections of Clare V. are popping up in Paris this month. We checked in with designer Clare Vivier for a recap of her time in the City of Lights.

PARIS – This winter I got to fulfill one of my dreams: to open a store in Paris. It's temporary, but for the month of December we will officially have eight Clare V. stores! The first seven are in the United States: three in Los Angeles, two in New York City, one in San Francisco, and one in Newport Beach, California. Our eighth store is inside the Marais-based concept shop Small, which regularly hosts a rotating cast of interesting brands from around the world.

Our design director Greta and I went to Paris for a few days before the opening to set up shop. We just launched our second collaboration with musician Mike D., a capsule men's collection that we're calling MDCV. Mike came to Paris for the opening party at our store and hosted (and DJ'd) the after party at the newly redesigned Hôtel de Crillon. The trip was a whirlwind — we opened the shop, trained employees, ate good food, boogied down to Mike's beats, and had an all-around good time.

One of my first meals in Paris is always Le Verre Volé. It has a wonderful wine list, delicious, un-precious food, and a very cozy feeling.

We got really lucky because our pop-up is close to Ofr, my favorite bookstore in Paris. You can find wonderful art books or obscure magazines that are perfect for jet lag reading. One of the owners, Alex Thumerelle, is like the unofficial mayor of the neighborhood. If he’s there, strike up a conversation with him. I promise it will be entertaining.

Also right down the street is the excellent record shop Superfly Records, where you can listen to albums before you buy them in a private listening station. We were thrilled to buy a few to decorate our pop-up shop, and I can’t wait to bring them home once the store closes.

Photo courtesy of Designlovefest / Instagram.

We had a late lunch at the Japanese restaurant at the Marché des Enfants Rouges, then bought flowers for the shop. That’s the way to do it in Paris: either late or early. Never try to eat during peak hours, as the lines are crazy and there’s nowhere to sit. The off-hours are peaceful and the best time to enjoy your food.

One of the best meals of the week was at Clamato. We started with oysters and ended with an entire sea bass for the table.

Clamato doesn’t take reservations, but thankfully they have a bar around the corner called Le Cave at Septime, where you can have a glass of wine and snacks while you wait.

Méert Patisserie was right across the street from our Airbnb, and we indulged in one little waffle every morning.

My favorite new discovery was the cafe Ob-La-Di. It’s tiny (of course) but healthy and delicious. Pictured here: Mike D. in the sweatshirt and passport case from our collab.

Adding a fancy element to our trip were two visits to Les Ambassadeurs at Hotel Crillon. Mike was DJ'ing two nights, and they turned the jazzy piano bar into a full-on dance club. We had a really good time! I highly recommend a visit to the hotel for a taste of old Paris.

Visit the Clare V. Paris Pop-Up

Clare V. à Small
19 Rue Notre Dame de Nazareth
Paris, France 75003
Open through December 28, 2017

Keep Exploring Paris

How The Chic Restaurateur Does Paris
A Literary Tour of Paris
A Designer's Guide to the Tenth, the Coolest Neighborhood in Paris

We make every effort to ensure the information in our articles is accurate at the time of publication. But the world moves fast, and even we double-check important details before hitting the road.