Why This Fashion Designer Thinks You Shouldn’t Buy a Whole New Wardrobe for Travel
Los Angeles–based minimalist fashion label Vince embodies the perfect travel wardrobe. The line of easy, light essentials are made with luxuriously soft fabrics, creating casual wear that is both elevated and timeless.
So it’s no surprise that the creative director at the brand’s helm would be an expert in all things travel. For Caroline Belhumeur, whose father is a pilot, the wanderlust gene is quite literally “in her blood.” Her own career would later demonstrate this fact, too — she’s always traveling to far-flung destinations seeking inspiration for future collections.
Much like the ethos of Belhumeur’s brand, she believes the key to travel is keeping it simple. We asked her a few questions about her travel routine, favorite destinations, and packing essentials. (And trust us, they’re not what you’d expect.)
What is your relationship to travel?
Well, my dad is a pilot, so travel is in my blood. But I’m lucky enough to have had jobs that have allowed me to travel the world and meet and experience so many incredible people and places.
Do you think about travel when you're designing? Is it a major source of inspiration for you?
Yes, travel and thinking about aspirational destinations or places is always very inspiring because you think about color and texture and a sort of feeling or memory, and it can take you to this place in your mind so that you can relive that experience again and again. For Spring 2019, we were inspired by Sea Ranch in Northern California, and we looked at photographs from Leslie Williamson’s book and were very inspired by the colors and textures.
What’s your packing philosophy?
Only pack what you wear all the time. Don’t buy a whole new wardrobe to travel. Pack what you know and then try to keep it carry-on only.
Do you have a favorite travel bag?
What's the one item you always need to have on the plane with you?
My sketchbook… and also my music.
Most versatile item of clothing you need to pack for every trip?
What’s the best vacation you’ve ever taken?
In the U.S., our annual family holiday on Block Island. And internationally, our family trip to Rome!
What’s the one place that surprised you?
India, I found it to be very spiritual.
Where have you always wanted to visit?
There are a lot of places I’d like to go, but now that I’m on the West Coast (I relocated to L.A. in 2017 after 20 years in New York City), I want to go to Yosemite, Oregon, Japan, and Hawaii.
Is there one particular thing you cannot travel without?
I have this tradition of spraying a familiar scent (my go-to is Replica Beach Walk by Margiela) into my luggage before I travel so when I get to my destination and open up my bag, I’m greeted by that scent. It’s a way to bring a little bit of home with me wherever I go.