Véronique Cloutier is launching four new clothing collections in association with the Marie Claire Group. We met the popular animator, for whom fashion is a real pleasure.
It is a radiant and enthusiastic Véronique Cloutier that we meet in a café in Griffintown on Wednesday. We obviously immediately look at the way she is dressed, because she wears clothes from her new collections. “I’m 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 signed Véro for the four different brands of the Marie Claire Group and for all silhouettes. In total, 128 pieces can be found today in 300 stores across Quebec, New Brunswick and Ontario. Each brand has its particularity, explains Véronique Cloutier. “Grenier is more for everyday life, we are in comfort, in essential rooms; Marie Claire Boutiques is more refined, more elegant; San Francisco is the trendiest brand, and Claire France caters to women wearing sizes 14+. »
The four collections are made up of clothes that reflect the hostess. Cotton shirt dresses, a linen short suit (a favorite of Véro), 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, hence the importance that it looks like who I am, that it matches my style.
“I do this 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 for me 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 that is done in pleasure. »
“Véro is very honest. She assumes more than ever, in her appearance, 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 had the idea of joining the Marie Claire Group. “It’s a Quebec family business founded in 1965. The Lafrance family are very humble and discreet people. Their group is a great success and being in 300 points of sale is a way of reaching so many women, ”says the host.
The latter points out that there were certain compromises in the creation of the various collections. “I can say that I wear more than half of the clothes in my collections, with great happiness, every day. The colors are neutral, which I like, but I know that customers like prints, which I wear less. We created floral prints, stripes, polka dots, which correspond to the classics,” says Véronique Cloutier.
A new style for Marie Claire
We note that the collections signed Véro bring a breath of fresh air and modernity to the various brands of the Marie Claire Group. Véronique Cloutier is aware of this. “I think there was this intention to refresh the image of the brand a bit, because the children took over the management of the family business. It’s in the order of things and it’s normal. »
For Stéphanie Lafrance, shareholder and director of product development for the Marie Claire Group, Véronique Cloutier brings great influence to the brand. “We want people to talk about us and reach 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 attract new customers,” she said.
But where does Vero’s inspiration come from? “I draw a lot of inspiration from Scandinavian fashion bloggers. I like neutral colors, clean cuts that hang well, the contrast of espadrilles worn with more chic clothes, the love of beautiful materials. As for stars, I really like Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Hailey Bieber and Olivia Palermo. »
Véronique Cloutier now favors comfort above all else. She wants to feel comfortable in her clothes, both on television and in everyday life. “I’m always in sneakers! When I put on heels, I know it’s for a short time. I wear them for an event that will last two hours and I take them off immediately, ”says the one who always has a pair of espadrilles or flip flops in her car in the summer.
I no longer want to feel tight in my clothes, to tuck my stomach in, to wonder if we’re going to see my breasts or my bra strap, I no longer want that!
Is this the effect of the pandemic? “The pandemic has had this effect on a lot of people. We found comfort. I realize that I have detached myself from many things in terms of my image. I went live on Instagram with dirty hair, no make-up on, it made me feel uninhibited and it really changed a lot of things in my relationship to my image, and it feels so good! »
She thinks the collections reflect this state of mind, a mix of casualness, more chic and versatile pieces, and a lot of freedom. “My daughter Delphine, who is 19, borrows me clothes, I like that! I tell myself that I have to dress well, but at the same time, I wonder if I look like I want to be cool and young too much… and after all, I tell myself that we can do well what we want, if we are well, that is what counts. »
Four collections for the four brands will be launched each season, the summer one is already scheduled for June. “We’re in the process of development, we’re running in, it’s a first collection. There are adjustments. I have so many ideas in mind, desires, it will come true over the seasons. »
Véronique Cloutier already expresses the wish to manufacture certain parts in Quebec, because currently, only 10% of the company’s products are made here. “For ecological reasons, local manufacturing is important to me. It has a cost, of course, it’s 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 made here? It’s part of the thinking. »