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Check Out Claire Thomas Morgan’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Claire Thomas Morgan. Them and their team share their story with us below:

Vivi Design Studio was created as an homage to designer Claire Thomas-Morgan’s grandmother, Vivian, who taught her all about living life not only fashionably, but fully. The brand was started as a way to help empower children through fashion, helping them create their own characters as they discover themselves. 

Launched in 2014 with 4 toddler dresses, Vivi Design Studio has been a Martha Stewart American Made Style Finalist, shown at Omaha Fashion Week and Kansas City Fashion Week, and created a custom H-Logo Dress for Charlotte Clinton Mezvinsky (Hilary Clinton’s granddaughter). In 2020 designer Claire Thomas Morgan won Fashion Anarchy, a local fashion business competition. 

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
There has been so much self-discovery and finding our way as a small business over the years. I wouldn’t describe anything as a struggle, as everything has lead to great learning experiences. A lot of trial and error, experimenting with different ways of approaching design and the business. We did custom work at one point, where we had 12 basic styles and 40 color options. That wasn’t creatively satisfying and it wasn’t what our customers wanted, but it also ended up worked well as I was able to keep some things going while also having a new baby and little to no time to dedicate to the business. With each collection, I discover more about what I want to be doing, how I am creatively driven, and how that can relate and engage our customers. 

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
Vivi aims to elevate children’s wear to a realm of thought-provoking, creatively classic, and everlasting design while fostering discovery, acceptance, and expression of self. At Vivi Design Studio, our goal is to open children’s fashion to a more emotionally connected, intelligent, and artistic environment that allows healthy self-exploration and expression. Our vision is to have children fashioned in the magic of character. 

In our designs, we are always working to create pieces that are gender-neutral, have adaptable styling for growth spurts and season changes, and have a hand-made, unique edge. We create a lot of our own prints and textile designs through dying. Each garment is made in limited edition quantities at our St. Louis studio. 

Can you talk to us a bit about the role of luck?
I feel like 50% of life and business is luck, 50% is hard work. You can work your butt off creating things, put it out into the world, try to work with all the algorithms, and it somehow never seems to see the light of day. I’ve created things I absolutely love that customers haven’t responded to, and vice versa. It can be really hard to know what’s going to be successful and when despite intensive planning. And sometime a chance meeting, event, or opportunity can pop up that changes the course of everything. I was very hesitant to participate in Fashion Anarchy because I really like ultimate control and for things to be thoroughly planned out, which is pretty much impossible in a 48-hour challenge where fabric is provided. But it was a great experience, super fun, and the prize package really helped me strengthen my business. And all because of responding to an Instagram DM! 

Contact Info:

Image Credits

Patrick Lanham
Julie Dietrich
Willow Roland
Liam Haines
Lyra Morgan
Ellis Morgan
Sophia Markle

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