Twelfth Street by Cynthia Vincent has been a favorite label of mine for a long time. Over the years I’ve especially loved when the Los Angeles based designer has captured the California boho-chic style through eclectic collections that feature Native American inspired patterns. While living in Southern California I was lucky enough to go to a couple sample sales at their offices in the fashion district of downtown LA, but my favorite Twelfth Street piece is still the “Vintage Dakota” cardigan (below left), which I picked up at Flight Boutique in Park City, UT back in the Spring of 2009 or 2010.
Although the Dane calf-hair bootie has been an indispensable addition to my wardrobe this season, lately I’ve been less captivated by the apparel offering. Nevertheless, my sweet husband surprised me with a very nice Cynthia Vincent shawl collar sweater for Christmas this year. Its a cozy cardigan with a cut that’s unique enough to be both interesting and still versatile. That being said, I was quite disappointed to notice that the appliqués that secure the toggle detail were made in cheap synthetic leather! Some people might see this as a trivial detail and maybe, being a shoe designer, I’m extra sensitive to material decisions, but I knew it would bother me if I let it remain.
I think a classic detail like this deserves a more authentic execution and would have thought that Cynthia Vincent was making clothes to a higher standard (especially on a sweater with a retail price of around $300). But in no time at all, I had chosen a dusty pearlized suede, swapped out the patches and toggle loops, and the cheap faux leather was a distant memory. Of course I won’t hold it against CynVin for cutting corners – I’m sure she is under a lot of pricing pressure from her suppliers and stockists – but I do hope that this isn’t the first sign of the downturn of her line. In the meantime, I was happy to do this little DIY to ensure my sweater makes it into regular rotation during the remaining days of winter.