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Seam and Heard: Nanci Bennett, Designer of Sid Vintage

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Remember Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols? Nanci Bennett did, and named her jewelry label “Sid Vintage” after accidentally mispronouncing his last name. “It fit because my style is a mixture between punk and delicate, and my name is Nanci, same as his girlfriend’s." The musical influence is still palpable today—all her collections are named after songs (her favorite band is The Decemberists right now). Working solely intuitively, she doesn’t use references for inspiration but just “sits down and comes up with it,” which also explains why her collections are not created in a seasonal pattern. Her statement pieces are intense conglomerates of chains, pearls, stones, and anything else that she can find on her sprees through flea markets and thrift stores, and she occasionally also works for hire: just give her pieces out of your own jewelry box and she'll transform it into something incredible.

What inspired your latest collection?
I got this chain with fringe on it (also made of chains), and after creating a necklace out of it, which you could turn into bracelet, I asked myself what else can you do with it. That was my starting point.

Who’s the quintessential Sid Vintage woman?
Your typical and untypical girl around town, there’s something that speaks to everyone. When I go into the stores that sell my pieces, the girls that work there usually wear one of them, which I think is wonderful.

Who’s your favorite LA designer?
Guy Baxter; Heather Heron for bags; Kaviar and Kind.

Who’s your favorite designer overall?
Cynthia Vincent.

What are the advantages of working in LA over working in NYC?
The resources are better over here, the lifestyle healthier, and it’s just a different kind of inspiration. It really depends on what makes you tick, but for me having nature around is important—that’s really not that available in NYC.

What’s your go-to shopping spot in LA?
American Rag.

What’s the season’s must-have item?
A great pair of boots.

The season’s-not-under-any-circumstances – don’t care if you’re Gisele Bündchen or Plum Sykes – have item?
Repetto shoes.

Sid Vintage is available at Aero & Co. and Scout, among many other boutiques. Photos by Christina von Messling.