Lots to Carry

HL The Marielle is obviously a different story. Its smaller size and luxe fabrication suggest a night on the town. Who does that bag represent?

CC Marielle is a friend of mine who’s fun, French, trendy and fashionable. She has access to all the top designers and needs a bag to match. She’s generally ready to seamlessly transition from day to night. This bag represents that high style.

HL How did you decide on the brand name c.lili?

CC I actually worked in reverse—the bags came first and the name followed. I had to come up with a name that wasn’t taken. Coralie is actually trademarked by someone else. So Lili is a nickname that my family had for me, and if you actually say c.lili in French, it sounds like ‘c’est Lili’ or ‘it’s Lili.’ It was perfect.

HL How did these ideas of functionality became a reality?

CC I’m a creator and all about creating, but it was important for me to remember that the customer is king. When the customer has so much to say, especially with social media the way it is today, the product must be A+.

HL So what will your platform be for spreading the message of your brand?

CC The first distribution will be via QVC. They loved my designs for CHARRIOL and asked me to create a line for the savvy consumer who wanted excellent design and quality under $300. The first presentation will be August 30, then again on September 13, during Fashion Week (QVC is a major sponsor of the event).

HL Do have plans of expanding in terms of retailers?

CC We’re exposing ourselves to as many U.S. consumers as we can right now through QVC and the website (www. c-lili.com). But perhaps we’ll sell to retailers once the demand is there. Maybe even create a higher-end line of jewelry, handbags and watches, but all at affordable price points.

HL So CHARRIOL, c.lili, family, travel, you actually just got back from Paris, what else is on the agenda?

CC My husband Dennis and I started a film series called REACT TO FILM to promote issue-based documentary films. The series is about promoting the film, filmmaker, and the issue to a carefully selected audience of tastemakers as well as the media elite. We screen the films at SoHo House in New York and are in the process of expanding the series to Los Angeles and Miami this fall.

HL That’s an interesting departure from fashion and jewelry, what sparked that?

CC Well I was interested in participating in some of the serious matters that surround us. In France people are big on debate and it seems like in America it’s not as common.

And with that said, the sound of innocent tears from baby Anais signaled a time for Coralie to change her proverbial hat from jet-setting designer du jour to devoted mother—a nod to the modern day woman for whom c.lili handbags were created.