If anything predisposed Viviane Cazeneuve to become a designer of jewellery and accessories it was her curiosity, her enthusiasm and her ability to manage a label. After earning a post-graduate degree in finance, her first professional experience was as a management intern at Yves Saint Laurent in 1986. It proved to be an ideal opportunity for her to observe the operation of a couture house which she admires.
After working as an accountant for the stylist Peggy Roche, she joined Hervé Léger in 1989, where she became a sort of “Jill-of-all-trades”, making herself indispensable as an accountant, a sales representative and even as a model. From 1991 to 1993, she was in charge of marketing and manufacturing for the jewellery designer Dominique Aurientis. In the course of her visits to factories and meetings with manufacturers, Cazeneuve began to familiarise herself with the design and production of jewellery. The press attaché Jean-Claude Chiroutte, who has a flair for discerning future talents, encouraged her to create her own collections. Her first designs, featured in Elle magazine in June 1994, were made with modest resources but based on an ingenious idea: thin chains hung with saints medals reinterpret a religious theme in an original, eye-catching way. These delicate, low-key jewels were well received in an era dominated by minimalism.
Other collections followed, full of imagination and creativity, conceived in several phases, for daily wear or more luxurious occasions. Metal and knit chokers, elastic “cigarette-pack-holder” armbands, latex cuffs, rings decorated with movable links, and stainless steel signet rings with enamel insets were soon carried over to a men’s line as well.
In 1996, this Martinique-born designer won an ANDAM fellowship with a project for modulable leather bags. The grant enabled her to develop a line of leather bags and luggage.
She was successively accessorie designer for Kenzo (1999-2001), Cacharel (2004-2005) and Christian Lacroix (2004-2007). Since 2008, she is consultant for Liberty of London.