3 Questions for Cynthia Vincent

Cynthia Vincent is starting a new chapter.

The L.A.-based designer’s namesake brand and Twelfth Street by Cynthia Vincent label were acquired Tuesday by private-equity firm Gores Group LLC.

Vincent, who will remain at the creative helm as designer and chief creative officer, told Footwear News the deal brings new opportunities for growth.

“With Gores’ help, we are able to invest more in product development, marketing, our retail store and e-commerce,” Vincent told FN, adding that footwear is a key category for her business. “[Shoes are] extremely important. They are a large percentage of our overall sales and they allow the Cynthia Vincent girl to put together a head-to-toe look.”

Vincent’s footwear offering saw particular success this season, with its on-trend tribal-inspired looks. “The shoe collection did really well this fall, which I was happy about,” she said. “Key styles continuously sold out in our boutique and at many wholesale accounts.”

With the positive momentum, Vincent said she has her sights set on international growth. The designer recently signed with a Canadian distributor, and she is looking to expand wholesale distribution in Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

Here, Vincent talks about her brand turning 10, growing her retail presence and expanding categories.

What does it feel like to be approaching Twelfth Street’s 10th anniversary?
I can’t believe it’s been 10 years. To celebrate we are planning great events in Los Angeles and New York. I have designed anniversary capsule collections in clothing and accessories for fall ’13 that will continue throughout the year. [The collections] will consist of still-relevant bestsellers from the past 10 years — items that have been requested and are customer favorites.

How has the New York flagship been performing?
Our New York store is doing really well. We sell a lot of shoes [there]. I love going in when I’m in town to spend time with customers and help them style looks. Their feedback is so important to me. [There are] no current plans yet for a new store, but I’m always on the lookout for the perfect retail location in Los Angeles.
Are there plans to roll out new categories?
Yes, we plan to launch additional categories in the future. We’re looking into swimwear and beach accessories for resort ’13 and even more categories for 2014.

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