Cynthia Rowley was in Chicago on Wednesday evening! She was in town to host a Summer Soiree at her boutique at 1653 N. Damen. Guests shopped her spring collection with an exclusive friends and family discount and sipped on Campari cocktails. Cynthia met and greeted guests and even helped women in the fitting rooms!
Cynthia Rowley is not only a fashion designer but she has become huge brand, with her design stamp of approval on everything from fashion and accessories, to housewares and furniture, beauty and her Curious Candy, you name it! (I own a Cynthia Rowley hammer, for example.) We were thrilled to meet her and a bit anxious! But the moment she spoke, very calmly and thoughtfully, she completely eased my mind and suddenly I felt like I was with a friend, discussing my favorite subject: fashion! She immediately recognized the vintage Cynthia Rowley blouse I was wearing and even noticed my belt! (Or should should I say her belt – she designed it, too!) We went back and forth on the year it was made, like 2 guys talking about the make and model of a car! She thought the year for this collection was 2001, because she remembered making something for her daughter in the same print. Now I felt like part of the family!
SCS: I have collected pieces from your Chicago boutiques over the last 20 years and still wear them because they never seem to “go out of style.” Do you intentionally design fashion that is collectable?
CR: (slowly and thoughtfully) I try to design pieces that are as unique as possible, and not follow any one trend. I like to design something new and not look back.
SCS: We loved your fall ’15 collection at NYFW. Besides the fact that you are always innovative, why did you decide to do a digital runway?
CR: I thought, why should we spend all of our energy on a show where the end result is a photo, and it may not be the best photo. They may catch part of the model walking by and just get part of her arm! So it was really because I wanted control of the photos and the outcome and also allow everyone to be able to see it online.
SCS: What 3 key pieces do you think women should own from your collection for fall 2015?
CR: For fall, I think lace… I think it is fun and sexy! (Even though I don’t really wear lace.) Longer lengths on skirts and dresses. We have this now and for fall: athletic wear! But you can wear the pieces for not only for fitness.
CR: Yes – Atheisurewear!
SCS: You have become a huge lifestyle brand. I saw Cynthia Rowley copy paper at an office supply store recently! What unexpected thing will you get into next?
CR: Well what I am doing with Staples is really changing the office supply business. We are adding value to furniture and everyday object by making them look better!
SCS: You design so many pieces, do you still sketch everything? Or at least give it your seal of approval?
CR: I have such a great design team, we’ve worked together for so many years. Yes, I see everything and give it final approval.
SCS: What is the most fun thing about being a designer?
CR: Having an idea … and see it become a reality. That is the fun part. I feel so lucky, every day.
Visit and shop CynthiaRowley.com
– Carol Calacci
Photos: Second City Style
Tags: 3 key pieces, accessories, Athleisurewear, athletic wear, beauty, Carol Calacci, Chicago, Curious Candy, Cynthia Rowley, Cynthia Rowley Eyewear, Cynthia Rowley Fall 2015 RTW, Cynthia Rowley for Staples, Cynthia Rowley Interview, Damen Boutique, Designer interview, digital runway, events, Furniture, lace, long skirts, office supply business, Summer Soiree