July 01, 2016
Who: Cynthia Rowley; Designer, Surfer, Wild Spirit
Why She's Foxy: Between being a low-key Mama of two who gets her surf on every weekend and has coffee with her husband each morning, Cynthia Rowley runs a global fashion empire where every new collection feels just like the first.
On Her Morning Routine: “I wake up really early, make really hot coffee with milk. I always do a little workout every morning no matter what — and that’s where I catch the news. Then the chaos starts. A few minutes later, I’m either french braiding someone’s hair or making egg. I have to get my youngest to school by eight. I take 15-20 minutes with my hubby in a coffee shop; we have a little moment before it’s time to hit the pavement. I always prep with some good music on the walk to work.”
On Doing It All: “Somehow it is all integrated. Geographic proximity is really crucial to my balancing act. I live five blocks away from my office. I can have a million meetings and still catch my younger daughter's last day of fifth grade. My older daughter has an internship and comes to my office after work sometimes to hang out. It’s a matter of not trying to separate it — I just lump it all together. The only thing is that at night and on the weekends I really try to not do any work. When you have kids you are really in the moment. There is nothing else around you, which is such a great exercise and way to live your life.”
“Today was the first day since Sunday that I can move my neck because I went hard surfing this weekend. The waves weren’t rough but I just go out and stay out all day. I try to surf every weekend.”
On Designing: "Every collection that I do feels like the first. Designing is really organic for me. I hate to be so vague but it's just an evolution. I never understand when people say things like "oh my inspiration is Ali McGraw in the Getaway”. Singular inspirations are so thematic and who shops like that, anyway? It’s just stuff me and my team like. If you look in this collection there’s Asian inspired items mixed with Mayan mixed with Hungarian and with a Dutchess satin jean skirt thrown in. I come down here and get surprised by my most recent collection all the time. It makes it a little more timeless, too. Every time we make a new collection, I really get as excited and as scared as I did the first time. It’s a lot of pressure — there's so much stuff all the time but i'm excited to get to work every day. UNLESS there’s good waves in Montauk, ha! We just showed in Sydney Australia fashion week — they asked for us to be their Featured Designer because of all the surf and swim stuff in our collection. We decided to go to Sydney and put on a show for seven hundred people in no time. We landed at six in the morning, did fifty-two fitting, tons of press, dinner, then had a runway show the next day. It was exciting to think about it in a spontaneous rogue way. And why not? Fashion shouldn't be stuffy. I mostly wear weird combinations of things and jeans a lot, too. People must think I'm still asleep when i pick out my clothes in the morning. Everything is mismatched and spontaneous. Its good to have that fearlessness sometimes. My collection is like that, too."
On Her Fave InstaAccounts: "Definitely my Hubby Bill (@halfgallery). He makes me feel completely in touch with and informed about the art world."
I love to look at Sage Erickson (@sageerickson) becau
My daughter, Kit, totally represents the Gen Z world (@crybabykit). There are a lot of beautiful and inspiring things everywhere but i like when you feel connected to a world.
Andy Spade’s instagram (@andyspade) it’s like a film that I love to watch. There are so many.”
Cynthia married Bill one week after Labor Day at Peter Beard's house. There was a lightening storm. Guests ate lobster and fries.
Advice To Aspiring Designers: “It's the complete opposite of what a lot of people would say but you have to take chances. Sometimes there will be disasters but it's important to experiment and be creative and be fearless. Also i would say to look everywhere for inspiration. Go as far as you can to find cool things — it's really important to dig deep.”
Pics by Chandley Borges