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Bergen Street's trifecta of contemporary accessories — skincare, handbags, and glasses — took one giant step toward completion with last week's debut of Clare V. The LA-based handbag line from Clare Vivier just opened its second New York City store in Cobble Hill (the first is in Nolita), right next to Aesop and just steps away from the forthcoming Warby Parker, and brought a taste of California with it.
Make your way past the blue-framed storefront to walk into an airy space that's dominated by white floors and ceilings and bleached-blond wood shelving and chevron floors. That look is all thanks to store designer Kate McCollough (as in the sister of Jack McCollough, who's one-half of the creative direction behind Proenza Schouler), and it's the perfect complement to both the store's oblong shape and the goods that it holds.
In addition to the brand's signature totes, clutches, and pouches — including a store-exclusive one that's got the address on it — customers will also find Vivier's new ready-to-wear pieces, including tee-shirts and sweatshirts with cheeky French phrases like "Bourgeoisie Sauvage" and "Suffragette."
Interspersed among the leather goods are teeny accessories like pins (displayed in their own customized leather trays) and reading choices that range from The Paris Review to Alexa Chung's It Girl. Pops of color are provided by simple flower displays from a local florist and neon matchbooks.
Let's go back to that trifecta concept for a second, because the simple fact that Clare V., Aesop, and Warby Parker are all right next to each other isn't what makes this new retail stretch a Cobble Hill powerhouse. Once the weather warms up (and Warby Parker debuts), the three stores will share a backyard — and no doubt throw some well-accessorized, well-moisturized shindigs for locals. At Clare V., the backyard is preceded by concrete floors, blue chairs, glass shelves with beauty products from the likes of Rodin and Olio e Osso, and some very apropos cacti.
Clare V.is open daily from 11am to 7pm.