It’s safe to boast about Cynthia Rowley as our designer from the Chicago area who made it big in New York. At her Cynthia Rowley for Hooker Furniture launch party at Walter E. Smithe she told the crowd whenever she is back in town she gets deep dish pizza, Garrett Popcorn and still opens the door the of her parent’s refrigerator to see if there’s anything to eat.
After meeting her several times I have come to realize she truly is an artist above all else and does not follow trends. She said she doesn’t like to design for a certain person or do anything gimmicky, which is probably the key to her success as a designer. Cynthia Rowley “just puts it out there” which keeps it amusing and timeless. I once again had a chance to chat with her before the launch party at the Walter E. Smithe showrooom in Lincoln Park.
SCS: We are so excited about your furniture collection. It is so cool and beautiful! I noticed you offer a dark background floral print, similar to those in your fashion collection, sports apparel and yogurt bottles. Is this a theme?
CR: Yes it is a similar floral but it’s not intentional. My designs are always evolving. Lately I like using metallics, gold accents … and floral prints!
SCS: Do you approach designing furniture the same way you do apparel?
CR: Yes we used fashion themes for the collection. There are 160 pieces with 30-40 new pieces to come. So we divide it into the themes Sporty, Curious and Girly.
SCS: Are your furniture pieces like fashion accessories that a person can mix in with their own decor?
CR: I did not want the pieces to be subtle and beige – but the opposite. I would love people to think of them as accessories. I want someone to purchase one of the pieces, such as the floral desk, not just as an accent piece but to actually use it. I think if you have a beautiful desk in your home your will want to use it!
Rowley’s collection represents three distinct personas. Sporty: Life in the Fast Lane pieces are bold, clean, and vibrant, boasting stripes and exotic woods. Pretty: A Charmed Life features timeless, delicate opulence—Mother-of-Pearl inlays, tassel drawer pulls, and a soft color palette. Curious: An Invitation to the Imagination is inspired by travel and adventure. Pieces are exotic with elements like gold and silver leaf, jade onyx, and Rowley’s signature black floral prints.
– Carol Calacci
Photos: Second City Style and Walter E. Smithe