May 11, 2017 | By Carla Buzasi
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After years of selling their wares online and in a select few stockists, two of LA’s most- buzzed about accessories designers have set up a sweet little shop in the hip Silver Lake neighborhood, where everything on display is handmade with love and skill. Back in 2006, American-born journalist Clare Vivier was working in France when she realized the serious dearth of chic laptop cases on the market. So she bought some leather and crafted her own. With that, her eponymous line of simple yet exquisite bags was born. Vivier branched out into clutches, totes and travel bags, quit her day job, moved to Los Angeles and quickly became a fave at Theory, one of the most prominent retailers to carry her designs.
While Vivier’s perfect pouches sold out across the country, her future best friend and business partner, Kathryn Bentley, was hard at work on not one but two lines of jewelry, the ethnically-inspired and less expensive bracelets, rings and necklaces of Dream Collective, as well as her self-titled fine jewelry line. The two outgrew their home studios at around the same time and decided to join forces for a brick and mortar operation right on Sunset Boulevard, the newly opened Vivier and Bentley.
One third of the charming, high-ceilinged store is devoted to retail, with Vivier’s bags and Bentley’s jewelry artfully arranged in the stark, impeccably decorated space, alongside boho leather sandals and moccasins from local designer Beatrice Valenzuela. A rotating selection of artwork from super-cool contemporary art gallery Taylor Decordoba graces the walls; fresh flowers and a hand painted “rug” on the floor add warmth and color while complementing the vibrant goods on display.
The back of the store also functions as the duo’s studio, and is filled with inspiration boards, scraps of leather, and a small staff hard at work crafting each product entirely by hand, from painted leather bags to gold rings. Fans of Vivier’s work will want to stop by often, as Vivier and Bentley features limited edition pieces crafted from small quantities of interesting skins, not available online or anywhere else.
1404 Micheltorena Street at Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles
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