Véronique Cloutier launches four new clothing collections in collaboration with the Marie Claire Group. We met the popular animator for whom fashion is a real pleasure.
Posted at 11:00 am
It is a radiant and enthusiastic Véronique Cloutier that we meet at a café in Griffintown on Wednesday. Of course, we immediately take a look at how she is dressed, because she wears dresses from her new collections. “I feel so good in this beige overshirt, look, touch the material, this is part of the Véro collection for Marie Claire,” she says. “And the pants are San Francisco. »
There are four collections with the signature Véro for the four different Marie Claire Group brands and for all silhouettes. A total of 128 pieces are available today in 300 stores in Quebec, New Brunswick and Ontario. Each brand has its own characteristics, explains Véronique Cloutier. “Grenier is more for everyday life, we are comfortable, in essential spaces; Marie Claire Boutiques is more sophisticated, more elegant; San Francisco is the trendiest brand and Claire France caters to women wearing size 14+. »
The four collections consist of garments that reflect the hostess. Cotton shirt dresses, a cropped linen suit (a Véro favorite), a knit tank top, shorts, jeans, tencel pants, and pleated skirts; Pieces that can be combined from one collection to another. Note that the Claire France collection for sizes 14+ is a mix of pieces signed Véro for San Francisco, Grenier and Marie Claire.
I really wear my collections in my daily life, so it’s important that they look who I am, that they fit my style.
“I do it because I like it. I don’t just put my name on a label, it’s a real pleasure. I love clothes, I love dressing up, so creating collections is a bonus in my life. It’s not essential in my career, it’s not how I make a living, it’s the icing on the cake done for pleasure. »
“Véro is very honest. She’s more embracing than ever, in her looks but also in her professional life,” says Chloé Mérineau, Creative Director of the collections. The latter met Véronique Cloutier 12 years ago and they became friends. It was she who came up with the idea of joining the Marie Claire Group. “It’s a family business from Quebec that was founded in 1965. The Lafrance family is a very humble and discreet people. Your group is a huge hit and being in 300 outlets is a way to reach so many women,” says the host.
The latter points out that certain compromises have been made in the creation of the various collections. “I can say that I wear more than half of the garments in my collection every day with great pleasure. The colors are neutral, which I like, but I know clients like prints that I wear less. We created floral prints, stripes, polka dots that correspond to the classics,” says Véronique Cloutier.
A new style for Marie Claire
We find that the collections signed Véro bring a breath of fresh air and modernity to the different brands of the Marie Claire Group. Véronique Cloutier is aware of this. “I think it was this intention to freshen up the image of the brand a bit, because the children have taken over the management of the family business. It’s in the order of things and it’s normal. »
For Stéphanie Lafrance, shareholder and head of product development at Marie Claire Group, Véronique Cloutier brings great influence to the brand. “We want people to talk about us and reach out to women who don’t know us. This collection is very different from what we usually do with the style, the colors, the materials. We hope to win new customers,” she said.
But where does Vero’s inspiration come from? “I get a lot of inspiration from Scandinavian fashion bloggers. I like neutral colors, clean cuts that fall well, the contrast of espadrilles worn with smarter clothes, love of beautiful materials. As for the stars, I really like Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Hailey Bieber and Olivia Palermo. »
Véronique Cloutier now focuses primarily on comfort. She wants to feel comfortable in her clothes, both on TV and in everyday life. “I always wear sneakers! When I put on heels, I know it’s only for a short time. I wear them for an event that lasts two hours and I take them off immediately,” says the one who always has a pair of espadrilles or flip flops in the car in the summer.
I don’t want to feel constrained in my clothes anymore, sucking in my stomach, wondering if we’re going to see my boobs or my bra strap, I don’t want that anymore!
Is this the effect of the pandemic? “The pandemic has had that effect on a lot of people. We found solace. I realize that I’ve detached myself from a lot of things in terms of my image. I went live on Instagram with my hair dirty and no makeup, it made me feel uninhibited and it really changed a lot of things in my relationship with my image and it feels so good! »
She finds the collections reflect that state of mind, a mix of casualness, chicer and more eclectic pieces, and a lot of freedom. “My 19-year-old daughter Delphine lends me clothes, I like that! I tell myself that I need to dress well, but at the same time I wonder if I look like I want to be too cool and young… and finally I tell myself that we can do well what we want when we’re good, that’s what counts. »
Four collections are launched for the four brands each season, and the summer collection is already planned for June. “We’re in the development process, we’re breaking in, it’s a first collection. There are adjustments. I have so many ideas in my head, wishes that come true as the season progresses. »
Véronique Cloutier has already expressed a desire to manufacture certain parts in Québec, as only 10% of the company’s products are currently made here. “Local production is important to me for ecological reasons. It comes at a price of course which is reflected in the prices of the clothes and I know women are on a tight budget so you have to find the right balance. Could part of the collection be done here? It’s part of thinking. »