Designer Cynthia Rowley Talks Inspirations, A-List Clients + Her Fab New Contest

Rowley dishes on how her designs got noticed, what she does to get creative, and the contest every style-loving girl needs to enter.
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Designer Cynthia Rowley Talks Inspirations, A-List Clients + Her Fab New Contest!

Rowley dishes on how her designs got noticed, what she does to get creative, and the contest every style-loving girl needs to enter.

-Diana Denza

cynthia lede

Everyone from A-listers to top-notch fashion editors look to Cynthia Rowley for quirky-chic offerings that really make a statement. And after another successful stint at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week (MBFW), the Manhattan-based designer has partnered with Lysol to make fashion magic happen. The lucky grand prize winner of the Touch of Foam Label Design Contest will score a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to attend MBFW along with a $5k shopping spree. Swoon! We chatted with Rowley about her inspirations, celebrity fans, and what her contest entry would look like.

Betty Confidential: What do you do to get creative?

Cynthia Rowley: I wish it was the kind of thing I could turn on and turn off, but you never know where inspiration comes from. It’s a really personal thing and so I try to see and do as much as I can all the time. I go to see a lot of contemporary art but inspiration can also come from doing things with my kids or travel or music or just hanging out with friends.

BC: What are some of your design inspirations?

CR: Past collections have included children’s popup books, luxury camping or when I worked with my friend Will Cotton, who asked me to make a dress for Katy Perry’s album cover. That inspired a whole candy collection, which most recently inspired the opening of two of my own candy stores in New York called CuRious.

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BC: How did your work first get noticed?

CR: I was in art school and a woman stopped me on the train and asked me about a jacket I was wearing that I had made. She turned out to be a buyer for a department store and in the true meaning of “Fake it till you make it”, I talked my way into an order, sewed all the pieces myself and just kept going.

cynthia designs

BC: How would you describe your design aesthetic?

CR: It’s very personal. My husband has an art gallery and we have an online art business called ExhibitionA.com, so inevitably my aesthetic incorporates a little bit of art. I try to keep it sexy and since I love sports, that’s also a big part of it.

BC: Which designers have inspired you?

CR: I try not to be influenced by other designers’ work and instead look to people like Andy Warhol who famously said, “Do everything.” That motto has led me to take big chances in my career like being the first designer to do Target and designer Band-Aids.

Up next: Cynthia’s proudest moment as a designer and more!


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