I first met Simone LeBlanc years back when we worked together on a project that celebrated "California makers." She's created a beautiful specialty and custom gift box business over the years that has always so tastefully delivered the most perfect curation of beautiful finds that Simone's discovered. I've loved the chance to work with her on this project for Holiday, creating exclusive CV items for a special SLB box that is a festive take on the cocktail party. Before we both get caught up in full holiday frenzy, I stole some time away with Simone to talk more about the collab and the pairing. x cv Q: How did you first meet Clare? A: I’d known of Clare’s bags and seen her products around town, and about five or so years ago I worked with her on a custom gift project. It was a California makers box, and we worked on a custom color of one of her flat clutches. It was when her studio was still in her house. At the time I think I happened to have been carrying a Marni bag and she loved that I was swapping a Marni bag for one of hers. We've since become dear friends. Q: How did you first conceive of this collaboration? A: I’ve always wanted to do an ultimate celebratory cocktail box, and Clare’s coasters, which she gifted to me some time ago, are my personal favorites that I use in my house. I’d also been coveting this gorgeous brass bar set and knew that she could make the perfect complementary pieces. Q: How did you decide on what to include in the box? What was behind the "theme"? A: We wanted to create the perfect celebratory holiday evening in gift form, to include everything you’d need to gather with friends and get a little revelrous in the spirit of the holiday season and ringing in the new year. From the leather card holster with custom playing deck created by Clare to the gleaming cocktail set and gold foil-stamped leather coasters, the items in this gift feel special and festive, yet still completely versatile, perfect for using year-round. Q: What in particular makes this box special? A: We strive to create truly all-inclusive experiences in gift form--and you can really see that with this box down to the custom designed cocktail recipe cards. That sensibility paired with Clare’s highly customized, elevated everyday items (the gold foil stamped leather coasters, the custom designed card deck with leather holster) is such an effortless way to take the cocktail experience and make it feel truly special, celebratory, and festive. Q: How does this box differ from other Simone LeBlanc gift boxes? A: We’re just starting to branch into making collaborative products, and with Clare we were able to include something that we conceived of together. It’s really amazing to see that abstract idea become real! Also, this gift box feels a bit more nocturnal — it has a fun and celebratory nighttime feeling as opposed to our lighter, airier daytime offerings that we love to create. Q: How and Why do you think your brand and CV are a good fit? A: Firstly, we’re friends! Collaborating on a gift box is a natural extension of the way we live our everyday social lives together. Clare has given my boxes as gifts, I have given and bought her bags for myself... It was a really natural and fun thing to get to work on something together. Q: Who do you plan to gift this box to this holiday season? A: It’s a very limited edition, so honestly, we’re not so sure there will be many left for us to gift. But, I'd love to give it to my girlfriends, my own favorite clients and customers, and also myself! Shop the Simone LeBlanc x Clare V. Custom Holiday Box here!