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August 23 2014

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2 posts tagged "Cynthia Vincent"

12th Street? Nah, She’ll Take Elizabeth

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Cynthia Vincent isn’t so concerned with being cool. “I guess the line I started after school, St. Vincent, was considered ‘cool,’ ” the designer mused at her first-ever brick and mortar shop on Elizabeth Street. “I was a lot younger then; it was a reflection of the life I was leading. But I think being based in L.A., you can choose what kind of life you lead. If I was in NYC, I might feel more of that pressure to be in certain circles.” Since her lauded and splashy debut in the nineties, the mother and L.A.-based designer has moved on to other things. St. Vincent eventually morphed into the contemporary brand Vince, and Vincent herself stepped away to launch her popular Twelfth Street line in 2003.

“I’m currently interested in global cultures, tribes you could say,” she said. Pointing to a Twelfth Street Spring collection print, the designer noted it was an Uzbek ikat that was computerized for a modernized feel, while a nearby neon yellow African print was reimagined into a sweetheart neckline frock. Slated to open today, the 900-square-foot shop, designed by Vincent herself, features a specially commissioned gridded cabinet-cum-display case inspired by her daughter’s advent calendar, a white stuffed peacock affectionately named Gertrude, and a sixties lighting fixture by Hudson, New York, artist Lou Blass.

Along with housing Twelfth Street threads and the designer’s eponymous footwear and handbag line, there will also be exclusive and one-of-a-kind pieces, as well as Vincent’s first foray into jewelry and home decor. “I fell in love with what’s happening here,” Vincent explained of choosing the store’s Nolita environs. “I’ve already ran across the street to Haus Interior to buy multiple pieces and I had breakfast at Cafe Habana this morning. Just on this block, there’s inspiration all around.”

Cynthia Vincent opens today at 253 Elizabeth St., NYC.

Photo: Aaron Stern

From The Sales Floor To A Spot On The Racks

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Attention, budding labels-to-be: For firsthand research, hit the sales floor. “We were all salespeople at Ron Herman,” designer Molly Coonan explained about meeting her muse, Alice Barlow, and Mike & Chris designer P.J. Faulstick (pictured). “I was the worst one, though. P.J. was amazing! He would outsell everybody, so he would ring some of his sales under my number because he didn’t want me to get fired.” The Silver Lake-based designer has come a long way since, but maybe the grunt work was worth the lasting friendships. Coonan tapped Barlow as the muse for her new line, Barlow, and threw a seven-course dinner and party with Shopbop.com last night to celebrate its official launch. Faulstick was also on hand at Los Feliz on the Lower East Side—the friends now find both their labels enviably backed by Cynthia Vincent’s company—and so, too, was Barlow’s budding fan base, which included Blake Lively, Metric’s Emily Haines, and Grey’s Anatomy‘s Melissa George.

Over ceviche and tuna burritos, George chatted happily about decamping to more fashionable terroir. “I’m so happy that I’m in New York now. When I arrived in L.A. eight years ago, I would wear high-waisted denim jeans with a smart striped top and nobody would get it,” the actress said. As after-partiers filled the basement space, fellow L.A.-to-NYC transplant Harley Viera-Newton (and her DJ partner, Cassie Coane) hopped on the decks. Turns out Harley also had a go at the salesgirl life early on but opted to pass. “Ugh, retail is the worst,” she said. “I met Molly way back when we were both working at Curve. But it’s funny. I deejayed Curve’s party last week and now Molly’s. It’s like I’ve come full circle.”

Photo: Billy Farrell/PatrickMcMullan.com