Born in Bristol, England, Caroline Belhumeur moved to London at age eighteen to study fashion at Kingston University. After graduating, she was plucked by Calvin Klein to work alongside him at his namesake label in New York, and there cut her teeth in the industry, absorbing the brand’s minimalist design aesthetic, while taking in the culture and energy of the city. After several years at Calvin, Belhumeur transitioned into menswear, working for ten years as a designer at London-based Fenn Wright Manson, and later at Wilke Rodriguez. In the late nineties Belhumeur was appointed Design Director at White + Warren, before being hired at Theory, where she focused on the Theory Luxe business. In 2008, Belhumeur joined Club Monaco as Vice President, and in 2014 was named Creative Director of the brand. For nearly a decade, Belhumeur led all aspects of the creative process for women’s apparel and accessories at Club Monaco, from conceptualization to research and development to design. She played a critical role in driving the brand’s marketing and advertising initiatives, while also conceiving the brand’s present day digital voice. In 2017, Belhumeur joined Vince as Senior Vice President and Creative Director, and in 2021 was promoted to Chief Creative Officer. She currently leads all aspects of design for the brand, from women’s and men’s apparel to footwear and accessories. She is based in Los Angeles and works out of the Vince Design Studio in Hollywood.
We visited Caroline at her beautiful home in Hollywood.
Photos KENDALL CONRAD
Hair + Makeup JO STRETTELL
Shop the story with the exact or similar options below each photo - just click the red links or gallery images throughout. Links work best if ad blockers or pop-up blocks are disabled.
Caroline Belhumeur wears TANK and SKIRT from VINCE and the OBLIQUE POSTS and SQUARE RING III. More links below.
Where are you from?
I’m originally from the deepest countryside of the West Country in the UK, I love to get home at least once a year to visit my family in the Cotswolds and in Devon.
What do you do?
I am Creative Director and Chief Creative Officer for Vince LLC. I oversee all creative for Vince, from concept of the collection, fabrics, and styles to campaign shoots, branding and store concept. I love the variety of all creative aspects this brings.
Where do you live and what do you love about it?
In L.A. I’m so lucky to be living in the Hollywood Hills (a sentence I never imagined that would come out of my mouth!). I knew that when I came to LA I needed to live in the hills where there are these amazing houses nestled in the canyons, so much year-round vegetation and tiny winding roads.
The Belhumeur's living room with a De Sede DS-600 'Non-Stop' sectional sofa, Arco floor lamp by Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni, and ceramics by Simone Bodmer-Turner (see similar in gallery links below). Lenticular panel by Caroline's husband CHRIS BELHUMEUR (@himofthehills) and painting by Chris's father Roland Belhumeur. Tables are by Roger Capron. More in gallery below.
Well, although I’ve never been a big career goal planner, I’d say this seems to be working out quite well!
Connecting to nature, it’s an absolute for me to survive and LA is the perfect place for that. When I can’t I miss it terribly. I horseback ride several times a week in the Santa Monica mountains which is a godsend. I also love gardening and just about to embark on raising chickens for the first time in my life!
What inspires you? How do you prepare to design a new collection?
As is with most creatives, we are constantly looking, seeing, hearing, dreaming, and imagining; whether we are conscious of it at the time or not, it’s a continuous stream that I pull on when starting a new collection. Having an open mind and being curious is so important.
Caroline wears the SATIN SLIP SKIRT and TEXTURED RIB CREW SWEATER from VINCE and the WIDE WRAP HOOPS and HEMISPHERE RINGS.
What do you like most about your work and fashion in general?
I love working with other creatives and that exchange of ideas--I think there are some really talented, respectful, fun, passionate people at Vince who make work life a pleasure.
When are you happiest?
When I’m with family and friends, in casual relaxed settings or going on hikes or riding and exploring the outdoors. I also love being alone listening to music and imagining or with my friends dancing at concerts.
A John Bozarth wooden sculpture and books sit on a Roger Capron table.
Gone to Earth by Mary Webb
The Shipping News by Annie Proulx
O Pioneers! by Willa Cather
The Porpoise by Mark Haddon
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
I am Love, A Bigger Splash, We Are Who We Are, and pretty much any Luca Guadagnino film.
All About Eve
The French Connection
The Power of the Dog
I’m not very faithful to particular bands, I jump around because I like to explore music I’ve never heard before. I do love
A Tribe Called Quest
JW Anderson--he’s experimental and not afraid to try new approaches. And Calvin Klein, because it was my first job in the 80’s and I love the aesthetics.
Caroline wears a BLOUSE, SKIRT, and CLOGS from VINCE along with the ROCK I PENDANT and WIDE WRAP HOOPS.
What are your favorite places that you have travelled to and where do you want to go next?
I love Northern California--Point Reyes, and Cornwall, the UK. I love CA and all it has to offer, and I love the Mediterranean. I’d like to tour around Spain and Portugal next.
What is your favorite hotel to stay in?
My most recent is La Colombe d’Or with all the incredible original artwork--Calder, Matisse, Braque, Picasso, and Léger in every room.
Also, I love to stay at the Covent Garden in London. They have the loveliest sitting rooms where you can play games in front of a fire and there’s an honesty bar.
A wire sculpture by Caroline's husband Chris HIM OF THE HILLS.
“After years of being separate from friends and family, being with them again feels like such a luxury. And time itself is such a luxury, the ability to stop and breathe and think.”
One of the many gardens at the Belhumeur's house.
Caroline wears a LEATHER SHIRT from VINCE along with the THIN OBLIQUE SMALL HOOPS and the GYRO EAR CUFF. More links in gallery below.
Please tell me about your children.
My oldest daughter is Cate, she’s 26 and lives in Brooklyn and is such a maker of things, ceramics, woodwork, cooking, she really needs to live outside of the city, that’s her destiny because she loves nature and walks as much as I do. She also loves dancing like me!! Liam is my son who is 22 and lives in Seattle, he loves cars but also nature, and animals, and music. He will also move to the country in the end, I think. Colette is my youngest, she’s 21, living in NYC where she attends Parsons and is studying fashion. She loves the energy of the city, and I can understand why. She is also so creative and has a very clear idea of her aesthetic. She is also super into craft and making things, just like her grandmother.
A beautiful corner with a Verner Panton capiz shell chandelier, a Milo Baughman burled-wood Parsons table, and an egg-shaped 70s table lamp. Similar items below in gallery links.
Rules to live by?
Trying to live in the present but it’s hard.
“I believe in the golden rule and laughing.”
The OBLIQUE HOOPS SMALL, SQUARE RINGS I and II, TAPERED II BANGLE, VIDA RING, and THICK ROUNDED BANGLE .
My mum, my sister and my daughters.
What would people be surprised to know about you?
I like identifying birds, not many people know that--it’s kind of a nerdy thing that I’ve also passed onto my son, but I believe that since birds are around us all the time, shouldn’t we know a little more about them?
How do you unwind?
Dancing is a great way for me to unwind, listening to fun energetic music--it’s such a great workout and a great way to start the day. I love yoga and try to meditate but that’s not always easy, I think horseback riding is a great unwinder--you have to totally focus on the horse because the minute your attention wonders they know, and riding in the Santa Monica Mountains, I need to focus on the trail and can’t get distracted.
Do you unplug from devices?
I try to unplug, getting hands dirty while gardening allows me to do that!! I always read before I go to bed which helps.
Brady, the family's West Highland Terrier.
On her bedroom sundeck, Caroline wears LEATHER PANTS and SWEATER from VINCE.
Keep it simple and comfortable, buy really good quality pieces that you’ll wear forever, and can wear multiple ways. I wear mostly neutral tones together, nothing jarring.
First KC jewelry item and bag, and what do you want next?
A hinged ring--I don’t think it’s on the line anymore, but you must bring it back! And the Lupe Sino Tote Bag. Next I want the Rounded Ear Cuff and I love all the stacking rings in different combos. And for a bag, the Girona II Shoulder and Crossbody Bag in Tan Napa!
What do you like best about KC?
I love the simplicity, the timelessness, and the quality--it’s clean lines but you can always tell a KC piece right away, there is a certain vibe that is reflected so much from its creator. Kendall truly embodies her brand.