Monday, December 13, 2010

Featured Style Expert: Cynthia Rowley

Cynthia Rowley was seven when she designed her first dress and she has not stopped since. Now, she's one of the industry's leading designer's known for her "vibrantly colored dresses and tops" as well as her creative collaborations. With stores in New York, Charleston, Boston, Japan, Hong Kong and Taiwan, Cynthia Rowley has fans all over the world. The prestigious CFDA honored Rowley with the Perry Ellis Award for New Fashion Talent in 1994. Cynthia is also a lover of contemporary art and is an avid collector.

We're thrilled to have Cynthia Rowley as our Featured Style Expert this week and caught up with her to ask a few questions:

Why did you want to become a designer?

I wouldn’t call it a decision, as much as just being my second nature. I have always been a clothes nerd. I was playing with scraps of fabric and putting together my own designs when I was seven, so by the time I was in high school, I was definitely that girl who made all of her own clothes.
My career in fashion developed out of college when I majored in art, so fashion to me has always been about creating a visual scrapbook of all things inspiring.

What's been your career highlight or favorite professional moment?

Building the company I have was such a challenge – a really hard road at times – that I end up with every new collection just feeling so grateful and happy and inspired. I can honestly say that there are just too many highlights to isolate one.

Who do you get your inspiration from and who are your favorite designers?

So many things in art and culture inspire me. I’m inspired by entertainment in all of its forms. I do have to say, I’m not often inspired by what’s happening in fashion, per se…it’s really more about what’s happening in the world.

What advice would you give to aspiring designers and stylists?

Work hard and don’t be dissuaded by the obstacles, because there will be a lot of them. Try to learn how the process of designing or styling works from someone established, as this will help you avoid sticky situations when you branch out on your own. Otherwise, stay true to your vision – communicate your ideas with confidence, clarity and patience.

Got a style question for Cynthia Rowley? You can ask her now in Style Q&A!

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