the story behind
Recently, we interviewed Caroline Belhumeur, creative director at Vince. The brand is based in Los Angeles - California and creates a collection of luxury essentials with the focus on a distinctive design.
What is the idea behind Vince? What does a day in the studio look like and what are the plans for the future? Caroline Belhumeur shares the story behind Vince in a candid interview with Pauw.
What was the initial idea behind Vince? How did it all begin in 2002?
Vince was founded with a fundamental premise: create a collection of luxury essentials with a focus on distinctive design.
How would you describe the aesthetic identity of Vince?
We mix relaxed, approachable luxury with that warm, elevated California aesthetic. The brand has always offered this sense of ease, an uncomplicated approach to dressing.
Vince is based in Los Angeles. Is this also the place where the collections are designed?
The collections are all designed in Los Angeles. I think being in LA is a more relaxed environment. There is a real mix of people and ages. There is an openness that I like. I love the idea of it being a city that has built itself on people creating things. In a practical sense, the weather has changed how I think about designing in a very transitional way.
“Silk shirting, classic cotton tees and cashmere sweaters, soft pants and sneakers are items to invest in… They are clothes that you want to live in, day in and day out.’’
Vince is known for the use of refined materials and its timeless designs. Inspiration for the collections comes from Los Angeles. What else is inspiring when designing a collection?
I am inspired by interior design. I try to see new exhibits or music or movies. It is part of the creative process to absorb these things. We meet creative people in all different fields and exchange ideas.
In terms of timeless designs, in what kind of item(s) should everyone invest?
Silk shirting, classic cotton tees and cashmere sweaters, soft pants and sneakers… They are clothes that you want to live in, day in and day out.
What materials are mostly used in the collections?
Beautiful cashmere, wools and silks.
How should women feel while wearing Vince?
When we are building a collection, we are thinking about multiple women. I know that many women want to be able to throw something on naturally without effort.
I like that the clothes are real – you can easily put things together. It helps keep life simpler when you do not have a complicated wardrobe.
What does a day at the Vince atelier look like?
We are constantly working together and swapping ideas for just about everything. We design for ourselves—every piece we create is something we want to wear. I am always putting on the clothes and thinking about how does it feel? We are thinking about details and how to make each piece special.
“I would say our biggest achievement has been building the trust of our customers through quality and consistency while evolving as a brand. Honoring our California heritage while staying focused on the needs of our customers is very important to us.”
How does Vince contribute to sustainability?
The Vince collections are timeless and made from high-quality fabrics. They are not fast-fashion pieces—but designed to be in your closet season after season.
What is the biggest achievement for Vince since 2002?
I would say our biggest achievement has been building the trust of our customers through quality and consistency while evolving as a brand. Honoring our California heritage while staying focused on the needs of our customers is very important to us.
How would you describe the Vince collection at Pauw?
The new collection features soft, feminine volumes and uncomplicated silhouettes. I referenced Trouble Makers: The Story of Land Art—the documentary examines the works of artists in the American Southwest in the ‘60s. I selected a color palette of earthy, dusty tones and silver metallics done in silks and soft textures. In transitional weights, the pieces are designed to be layered and have fresh, directional details.
Any cool plans for the future you would like to share with us?
We are always evolving the brand. You can expect to see a focus on video content, creating beautiful store environments and expanding categories such as handbags, home, and launching three fragrances that reflect our California origins.