Long before we met our friend Clare Vivier, we loved her bags and admired her from afar (an opposite coast, since she’s in CA and we’re in NY). When we launched this site a year ago, we knew we had to feature her – and she agreed. Jane flew out to L.A. and met Clare, who was wearing her favorite Acnes, for the story. Fast forward a few months later, and Clare is asking if we’d like to collaborate on a capsule collection. Hmmmm, yeah, we really had to think about that one (wink, wink).
We started talking, and the jeans geeks in us decided that whatever pieces we ended up developing together should be made with Cone Denim©, the U.S.-based heritage company that has been supplying the denim world with beautiful materials since 1891. Clare produces her bags in America (in L.A. to be specific), so it would be a dream pairing. We contacted Cone – they don’t let just anyone use their denim – and they approved us, and said we could visit their White Oak© mill in Greensboro, North Carolina.
The three of us met at La Guardia on a May day and flew down. We put our ear plugs in and toured the factory, where we saw the most gorgeous selvage being woven on vintage American Draper X3 fly shuttle looms, yarns being spun and indigo dyed, and virgin white cotton fabric (pre-indigo) – the latter of which we instantly knew had to have a place in our collab (see the white tote and fanny pack).
Click on a pic for prices!
FIELD TRIP! From left, North Carolina-bound, with our own Clare V. catchalls in tow; selfies at the Cone/White Oak mill; Clare and Florence in jackets and jeans.
Then, we kept talking about exactly what we wanted to make out of this amazing denim we just got to witness being made. Jane and I carry our MacBook Pros all over the city. And Clare travels a lot (after NC she caught a flight to Istanbul). So we wanted pieces that were great for being on the go. And Jane and I love Clare’s pouches (to put it mildly), so there had to be one of those. The results: a tote both in white and indigo, a fannypack, selvage catch-all and card case, a washed pouch cleverly bleached and a tee with our newly minted motto, “Toujours Denim.”
Clare, this was so fun. We will eat North Carolina BBQ, drink pints of local beer next to a train track, wear dorky ear plugs and walk through clouds of cotton in a mill with you anytime! When’s the next trip???
More snapshots from our visit to the Cone© / White Oak© denim mill…