Los Angeles–based designer and mother of six-year-old Theana, Cynthia Vincent embodies a bohemian and carefree spirit that shines in her collections for Twelfth Street by Cynthia Vincent. Having founded the contemporary sweater brand Vince in the ’90s, Vincent was an already established name in fashion even before starting Twelfth Street, which is now celebrating its 10-year anniversary. In her Q&A with Elizabeth Street, Vincent tells us about her line, her inspirations, and her advice on motherhood. And not to mention, we love that she has a boutique on Elizabeth Street in New York City.
Elizabeth Street: How did you start in the fashion business?
Cynthia Vincent: I told my mother when I was six that I wanted to design clothes for my Barbies. I grew up and so did my designs.
ES: How did Twelfth Street by Cynthia Vincent start?
CV: After leaving Vince, I was going on a six-month sabbatical to India and I got a call from Fern Mallis saying that Mercedes Benz was starting L.A. Fashion Week and wanted to sponsor me. I cut my trip to 14 days and came back from India to start Twelfth Street.
ES: How do you describe the aesthetic of Twelfth Street by Cynthia Vincent?
CV: Bohemian in spirit, modern, eclectic, and ultimately real clothes.
ES: What and who are your greatest style influences?}CV: I have always been inspired by Iris Apfel, Millicent Rogers, and Edith Simpson. Images of Talitha Getty in Morocco in the ’70s influenced me early on and can still be seen in my collection. I also find inspiration in Tulum (one of my favorite places), from all different nomadic tribes, from antique rugs, and often from interior design and architecture—especially Elkin.
ES: How do you describe your personal style?
CV: What I design is a reflection of my style.
ES: How did becoming a mom change your style?
CV: I started wearing leggings! Nothing else changed.
ES: What pieces should every stylish mom have in her wardrobe?
CV: I believe every mom should own a long printed dress that is flattering and can take you anywhere from shopping to the park and to dinner with just a change of jewelry. Mine often have hidden pockets, also an essential for moms.
ES: What are the trends this spring/summer?
CV: Modern caftans for day, beach, and night (which also come in handy as a blanket when needed), mixed materials back to metallic like the Fortuna multi-color lace-up sandal with mixed metal rings, and lastly, printed jackets, which can transform your look day to evening.
ES: How would you describe your kid’s style?
ES: How do you balance running a company and being a mom?
CV: Staying present. When I am a mom I am a mom 100 percent and everything else gets turned off. Although I can never do the reverse, I try to focus on work while I am at work.
ES: Best parenting advice you’ve heard?
CV: Understanding I’m just the guardian of this amazing soul and she doesn’t belong to m