Talking design and furniture with Cynthia Rowley (left)
Iconic fashion designer. Worldwide surfer. Author, mother and wife. Known for pushing boundaries and taking risks, Cynthia Rowley’s namesake collections include: ready-to-wear, shoes, purses, legwear, wetsuits, beauty and eyewear.
A life by design
Her latest designs propel her in a new direction. Fashion and furniture spheres intersect with the launch of Cynthia’s imaginative, spirited home furnishings line in partnership with Hooker Furniture. On June 2, customers and fans celebrated the launch and met Cynthia at Walter E. Smithe’s Lincoln Park location (2009 N. Clybourn).
The brightly colored, sleek collection features over 150 pieces of bedroom, dining, living room, accent and upholstered furniture. Available at 11 Chicago-area Smithe showrooms and online, the pieces mesh with modern, classic and feminine styles. (I’m eyeing the Fleur de Glee writing desk, draped in clusters of vibrantly colored flowers on a black background.) Bringing fashion home, “Fashion and style reach beyond clothes to the art of living,” Cynthia says. “I want to create furniture that brightens your space and makes your home a happy place.”
Windy City roots
Cynthia’s Chicago connection runs deep. Raised in Barrington, she attended the School of the Art Institute. As a senior, she sold her first collection to Marshall Field’s. In a fashionable, ironic twist, Cynthia’s first mentor bought this collection for the esteemed department store, and later worked for Walter E. Smithe! And although Cynthia is a long-time New Yorker, the avid Cubs fan threw the ceremonial first pitch at a Cubs vs. Indians game in 2015. That’s hometown pride, and one of her “life’s highlights”.
If Cynthia hosted a dream brunch, she’d invite her favorite comedians to her Long Island Sound home. The lively crowd would include: Louis C.K., Chris Rock, Amy Schumer, Sarah Silverman and Kristen Wiig.
in Cynthia’s favorite book—Oh, the Places You’ll Go!—Dr. Seuss writes, “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.” Hats off to this fabulous, vibrant woman, who certainly has accomplished exactly that! Excited to see what she dives into next….
(P.S.: Please keep your wetsuits off the furniture.)