Cynthia Rowley (born 29 July 1958) is an American fashion designer based in the West Village of New York City.
Rowley is a native of Barrington, Illinois (an affluent northwestern suburb of Chicago). She is one of three children born to Ed Rowley, a former science teacher, and his wife, Clementine. She graduated from Barrington High School (1976) and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (1981).
Known for what The New York Times has called "flirty, vibrantly colored dresses and tops in wispy materials" that have "a whiff of the carefree, simple spirit" of Claire McCardell, Rowley launched her business in 1981 or 1983 with $3,000 in seed money from one of her grandmothers. "Several months later, she held a fashion show in her apartment, inviting every important fashion editor in New York, as well as Andy Warhol and a smattering of movie stars -- none of whom she knew and none of whom attended."
Since then the Cynthia Rowley Collection, incorporated in 1988, has grown to include women's wear, shoes, handbags, eyewear, belts, dishes, legwear, hats, color cosmetics, and fragrance. Rowley introduced menswear in 1998 as well as a women's secondary line, Rowley by Cynthia Rowley, both licensed to Italian sportswear manufacturer Stile Moda SpA. The menswear collections were later reduced to a smaller volume, and in 2011 Rowley presented the Mr. Powers collection, a limited menswear range named after her husband Bill Powers. The women's secondary line was discontinued. Rowley's fashions are presented bi-annually at New York Fashion Week and sold in signature Cynthia Rowley stores in New York City, Charleston, Chicago, Boston, East Hampton, Japan, Hong Kong and Taiwan, as well as at the company's web store. Shops in Beijing and Shanghai are opening soon. The collection is also represented in better department and specialty stores both domestically and internationally...
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