“How many ways to get what you want. I use the best. I use the rest." –Sex Pistols
Turn it up louder and listen in closely. The Sex Pistols' “Anarchy In the U.K” captures the spirit and raw creativity that is Sid Vintage, a kick-ass line of wearable art from Venice jewelry designer Nanci Bennett. And if the layers of reference here escape you, just look up bass guitarist Sid Vicious and the name of his infamous lady, to truly appreciate Bennett’s nuance and imagination. Her brilliance for merging modern and vintage without compromising either, manifests into a style that’s all her own – often copied but never replicated.
These and more Sid Vintage Jewelry available now in the Lincoln & Rose Marketplace. (Links in the above photos.)
Sid Vintage signature necklaces and cuff bracelets intertwine layers of history with anything else you might find in a jewelry box. Most of Bennett’s custom pieces begin with grandma’s broach or natural stones, a bunch of broken, unused chains, and end with a dazzling strand of layers and textures. She looks at each piece and listens to the stories behind them before weaving them into one of her enchanting and impressively sturdy creations. Because they carry such deep sentiment, many of these custom requests come from brides who wear Sid Vintage down the aisle. As for the pieces featured in her collections, these are all one-of-a-kind and crafted with treasures amassed over the years from flea market expeditions and other acquisitions from her work in interior design and styling.
As Bennett shares the details of her own story, so much of her personality begins to reflect back in her artwork. She’s a bundle of spunk and a hundred great stories wrapped up in a pretty, petite package. She has a lot of love for her friends and family (and all of the neighborhood kiddies flock to her too), but this straight talker takes no slack. She tells quick-paced, entertaining tales about her years as a background painter for MTV’s “The Grind” and the happenstance opportunities that she seized with quick thinking and hard work, all of which segued into a successful career in prop styling, and eventually, jewelry design.
Her original plan was to be a teacher. Bennett studied painting and sculpture in Manhattan, New York and earned her degree in art history and fine arts, but as she says, “The universe will tell you what you should be doing.” Her design career brought her from New York to LA, where she settled in Venice. It was around 2003, and in an effort to occupy her hands as she tried to quit smoking, for fun she pieced together leftover accessories from a Nelly music video along with costume jewelry inherited from her aunt. The combination resulted in a “punk grandma” bracelet and the beginning of Sid Vintage, which she officially launched the next year in 2004.
“People loved it. They loved the rawness,” says Bennett.
And they loved it that much more when Paris Hilton wore Sid Vintage on the cover of FHM, when Reese Witherspoon wore it on the cover of InStyle, when Hilary Swank wore it on the cover of Marie Claire, and when dozens of other celebs fell for Sid Vintage too. It was a popular pick among wedding and fashion stylists, and soon, the eclectic adornments led the trend in mixed media/ modern vintage accessories. Bennett had to contend with derivative, uninspired competitors, who churned out cheap replicas in Chinese factories, but she stayed ahead of the curve by designing new collections and pushing her work in a fresh direction.
“I’ll find my way out of any situation creatively,” says Bennett. Her latest styles tend to incorporate natural stones like her favorite aquamarine turquoise, and she is introducing more fine jewelry, including gold rings and pendant necklaces.
You can shop Sid Vintage in boutiques throughout Venice including Principessa on Abbot Kinney, The Golden State on Rose Ave, and her latest, one-of-a-kind pieces are also now available here on the Lincoln & Rose Marketplace.
“If you put your energy into something,” she says, “only positive will come from it.”
We're positively captivated and hooked for good on these Venice-made statement pieces.
Nanci Bennett is a featured maker in the Lincoln & Rose Marketplace, a curated assortment of the best locally made, handcrafted goods. Check out featured items from Sid Vintage Jewelry and find the perfect piece to add to your collection.