Two of Los Angeles’ key accessories brands have teamed for charity: TOMS and Clare V. created an eight-piece shoe capsule set to make its debut in April, the proceeds of which will help support the Downtown Women’s Center.
“Clare and I knew each other from the CFDA and I’ve always loved her French influences. We decided to start with our classic styles and apply those same details. It’s also fun giving in our own backyard,” said TOMS creative director John Whitledge, referring to the DWC, which helps women struggling with homelessness.
Said Clare Vivier, “This is the first collaboration TOMS has done with an L.A. accessories brand, and while I’ve done several collaborations, I love this one in particular because TOMS has a great history of being a philanthropic brand and at this point in our company that’s something we’re looking to do more of.” Clare V. celebrates its 10-year anniversary this year while TOMS was founded in 2006.
Whitledge, who cofounded and still designs the Trovata line, has overseen all design at TOMS for a year, and added oversight of creative marketing to his duties five months ago. He said the Clare V. project signals a new direction for the brand.
“With this collection we are elevating our materials such as better leather, suede and canvas, and a nubuck with stripes on the back. These pieces will age really well,” he said. There’s also an Alpargatas style with a French flag detail, and variations on the espadrille and sandal with Clare V.’s tassel and leopard print. TOMS also decided to prerelease a new fall style — the Carmel, a retro low-profile sneaker — in light pink with the Clare V. capsule.
Overall, TOMS is mining its archives to unify all its categories, which include apparel, bags and eyewear. The new Venice collection celebrates its roots in the beach town. “The design and storytelling aspect feels really authentic to us. We started with a renegade counterculture spirit to improve lives with business, and from a design standpoint, it’s always good to go back to where you started,” he said. For shoes, that means an upgraded suede footbed, unified outsoles, heritage canvas with new textures, and an updated Riviera stripe liner. The classic styles will also come in a rainbow of colors.
For Vivier’s part, collaborations with local brands have allowed the bag specialist to dabble in different categories. Vivier has done shirts with Equipment, sunglasses with Garrett Leight, fragrance with Capsule Perfumeries and chocolates with Valerie Confections. Her 10th anniversary capsule, coming out this fall, will also revisit the brand’s old styles. Most recently, Vivier hosted an event with Cindi Leive in her studio in support of the DREAM Act. She made a scarf version of her Vive La Resistance sweatshirt, the proceeds of which went back to the Women’s March organization.
Retail prices for the TOMS x Clare V. collaborations range from $60 to $108 and the shoes will be available at global retailers, TOMS.com, TOMS retail stores, ClareV.com and Clare V. retail stores.