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Eva Jeanbart-Lorenzotti

Eva Jeanbart-Lorenzotti first met Base partner Geoff Cook years ago when her company, Vivre (previously named L’Art de Vivre), was known as a niche catalog. Today the catalog has moved online and Eva herself has become a respected, international arbiter of style. We sat down with Eva to discuss fashion, her personal style, and what it takes to run a luxury company in today’s competitive environment.

Base: What brands today are “firing on all cylinders,” the ones who are really doing it right?
Eva: There are many brands, but two that never falter at getting it right are: Louis Vuitton for paying attention to the changing market but never compromising their traditional and well-tailored aesthetic; Apple for their high-visual intensity, and their unique commitment to design and intuitive intelligence.

B: Where do you get your inspiration from?
E: Everywhere and everything! I am inspired by the people, places, and things that surround me—from the work of an artisan in a remote village, the bright lights of a big city, and the taste of street food from all over the world.

B: What are three latest favorite finds?
E: I have an endless number of favorites. I appreciate so many different things and the stories behind them that it’s difficult for me to select only three. But here are a few of my most recent discoveries:

Wynn Wynn Ong’s nature-inspired cuff bracelets. Her Nagá collection is whimsical and features one-of-a-kind, hand-sculpted pieces. The Stella Cuff is fabulous.

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The Stella Cuff

Tamlin & The Fall’s miniaudieres. They’re a mix of jewelry and handbag with fun details like hand-dyed feathers and chunky chains. The Silver-plated Shell Miniaudiere is exquisite.

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The Silver-plated Shell Miniaudiere

Jose Esteves’ new lighting collection. His metal and steel mesh works are the perfect blend of form and function. His Circle Lines Globe is a great sculptural piece.

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The Circle Lines Globe

B: What was the most special thing you’ve ever sold on Vivre?
E: That’s so difficult to answer because I love everything. And I wish I bought more of the items we’ve sold because they would be collector’s items now. But something I think is quite unique and that I did buy is Bernardaud’s re-edition dishware that was designed by Marc Chagall. Chagall originally painted the 69-piece service set as a wedding gift to his daughter, and it’s masterfully illustrated with almost surreal scenes of figurative imagery. Apart from there being an incredible and meaningful story behind the collection, it’s a story I like to tell. And only 225 settings were created, which makes the pieces even more special.

B: What characteristics do you dislike in luxury items?
E: I’m all about the experience, state of mind and story behind products, so I don’t gravitate towards pieces that lack substance or that aren’t inspired. I’m not into logos, the “IT” factor, or something that’s “in your face” for the sake of shock value.

B: Can you tell us about the Vivre brand how it came into being and the collaborations you have?
E: I‘ve always been into design. The experience of creating a new piece is so inspiring, and I like to interject my own story into each object. In fact, I kicked off the collection over ten years ago with the “Allegra Tote,” which is named after my daughter. Whether I’m dreaming up a new handbag, shoe, ring, bracelet, shirt, etc., I’m constantly thinking about my next move, the next collaboration, the next thing. So, keep your eyes open and expect to see a lot more.

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The Allegra Tote

B: How would you define your taste in 10 words?
E: Classic and tailored with a mix of old and new.
Like a great archive, I believe clothes should be well cut and elegant. I think it’s important to start with a clean palette, and then mix in accessories as you like. I’m always trying to interject pieces in an imaginative way, and I like layering old items with new finds. For me, style is so individual. It’s not about rules. It’s an expression of who you are and what makes you feel beautiful and alive. It’s about collecting pieces that you will love forever, and the experience in finding them.

B: What New Yorkers impress you?
E: New Yorkers are impressive! That’s why I’ve always loved this city. You have to be on your toes because you never knowing who’s going to be in the room with you. Here are two Manhattanites I admire: Diane von Furstenberg because she’s a real woman who’s intelligent, unexpected, and a pioneer; Mickey Drexler because he’s always on the go and a genius at what he does.

B: Speaking of NYC, you’re a mom (how many kids?). What’s it like raising kids in NYC?
E: I have two children, Allegra who is thirteen and Amedeo who is ten. Allegra, or “Lulli” as we call her, is a real woman in the making. She’s sweet, a bit calculative, and has a photographic memory. Amedeo is truly unstoppable. He’s fearless, loving and unrelenting. Raising kids in New York is wonderful and easier than people might think. The city has so much to offer in terms of culture and entertainment, and I like exposing them to everything.

B: What is your favorite locale for family holidays?
E: I enjoy traveling anywhere and everywhere with my family, exploring new places and experiencing different cultures with them. Having said that, I love going home to the Swiss Alps in the Winter Gstaad.

B: What are your plans for the future? What are your next steps?
E: Lots! We’re in the middle of a very exciting time right now, where we’re transitioning from aspiration to inspiration. As Coco Chanel said, “In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.” It’s a great time to rethink and refresh.

See part 1 of this interview here.