Her itinerary was set and her bags were packed. She had finally decided to travel the world. In fact, she’d take an entire year off as an extended sabbatical, hoping to find inner peace at an ashram in India. That is of course, until life came calling, literally. Right before she embarked on a supposedly adventure of a lifetime, she was offered an opportunity of a lifetime. This welcomed surprise was a phone call inviting her to the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Los Angeles. The best part was that with the invitation, came sponsorship. Fern Mallis, Executive Producer of 7th on Sixth, New York Fashion Week’s production company, would financially cover an entire runway show. Ironically, Vincent created her entire runway collection in 14 days. Full of twists and turns, the story of contemporary fashion designer Cynthia Vincent’s rise to the top is as unconventional and carefree as the dresses she designs.
Despite her non-conformist way of doing things, Vincent quickly accepted Mallis’ offer. “I knew I would have killed myself if I didn’t do it, so I went to the ashram for 14 days instead of 14 months, took my life savings, which was about $30,000 and started Twelfth Street,” she told The LA Times. After studying at Otis College of Art & Design’s Parsons School of Design, Vincent’s career took off. She especially found early success while working in London at Jane Ong & Company, eventually becoming head designer. From there she continued to evolve, eventually opening St. Vincent, her first company, which overtime evolved into her highly prized brand Twelfth Street. Very much like her wistful rise to fame, Vincent’s designs are often effortless maxi dresses made to combine both comfort and sexy style.
Acknowledging that bohemian is not a life, but a trend, Vincent views fashion quite differently from most designers. “I think a woman looks her most sexy when she’s comfortable,” she told Corals and Cognacs, a life and style blog. “For me, it’s about how you feel great in what you’re wearing.” Comfort and style. That’s exactly the image one gets when looking at Vincent’s effervescent designs. In fact, in the fashion world, Vincent’s name is practically synonymous with long flowing maxi dresses, rompers, tribal print, striped cardigans, chunky sweaters, earth colored wedges and sandals, rugged looking Western boots and bags layered with fringe detail. Without a doubt, there’s something very “on the go” about Vincent’s looks. Her favorite fabrics to use are light and silky, as if she’s encouraging her customers to allow the wind to lead and guide them. After all, that’s the Twelfth Street Girl.
“She’s boho,” Vincent explained to Corals and Cognacs, further emphasizing that the women wearing her brand love fashion, but are consumed by it. With celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow, Rachel Bilson, Beyonce and Scarlett Johansson, Vincent certainly designs with a particular woman in mind, though she’s quick to add that her designs come in all sizes and colors. But with such a free flowing spirit, it’s easy to wonder what she might be up to next. From the looks of it, she’s planning to expand her brand to include the tech industry. Calling her latest venture a natural extension of her handbags, Vincent has designed phone and tablet cases that are sold exclusively at Best Buy. Whether traveling to India, showing up at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, in her studio designing or working with Best Busy, bohemian fashion designer Cynthia Vincent is on the move.
What started out as a 6 year old learning to sew and cut patterns with her mom has led to an amazing and long lasting career in such a fickle industry. Despite working in such a conforming environment, Vincent’s designs stand out. Where New York demands wild innovation and never before seen styles, she brings the comfort of the familiar with a slight twist of the unfamiliar. Where Los Angeles dictates size in style, she designs for women of all sizes. Her only demands: be free, be comfortable, be sexy and embrace style. With such a vast following, its quite obvious the world of fashion has awarded her a crown of her own. Perhaps her 14 day trip to an Indian ashram provided her all the blessings she needed.