12th Street? Nah, She’ll Take Elizabeth
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