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Friday Fashion Lesson: Cynthia Rowley

One morning late, but we’re here again with another Friday Fashion Lesson. On today’s agenda we’re going to learn all about Cynthia Rowley! The modern woman, Cynthia’s brand centers around the adventurous female, carrying lines of women’s wear but also tons of swim and sports wear for women as well. Let’s dive in to a little more of her story.

Early Years

Cynthia was born in 1958 in an affluent area of Illinois to a humble parents of a science teacher, Ed and a painter, Clementine. Being artistically inclined her entire life, she learned painting from her mother and when forward to attend the School of the Art Institute of Chicago to pursue painting as a career. She quickly shifted focus and realized design was her true passion.

Start Spreading the News

In her senior year, Marshall Field’s had purchased her first collection and she won a fellowship to begin her brand. With $3000 in seed money, she packed up her life and moved to the big apple.  Her brand has since expanded to women’s wear, handbags, glasses, cosmetics, fragrance, wetsuits and swimwear, home furnishings, bedding products and office accessories. Obviously not just fashion, her brand is also a lifestyle.

Adventurous Spirit

Today’s brand is built on the philosophy that fashion should be an adventure. The looks are supposed to be “pretty meets sporty.” In her website’s “about the designer” page, it states Cynthia loves “exploring on a far-flung getaway, surfing secret spots in exotic destinations, or scuba-diving in an arctic glacier,” which is a testimony to her designs, catering to a modern female adventurer. Her surfing wetsuits with beautiful patterns are popular and she was deemed as the pioneer of “surf-leisure.” In addition, these wetsuits and neoprene swimwear are made using recyclable materials.


She only has a few boutique locations in New York City, Malibu, Montauk, Newport Beach and Palm Beach, however the brand has a nomadic pop-up retail concept and has small boutiques pop up around the world. Her items are also available online, however if you order, there’s no guarantee if the item will come from her warehouse or a boutique, since she only makes limited quantities of all of her items.

Her Little Legacy

In her personal life, Cynthia has one 21 year old daughter, Kit Clementine Keenan, who’s father is an interior designer. Kit is known to model a lot of Cynthia’s designs and she also launched her own brand KIT in 2018, at just the age of 19. In other news, there is a rumor she is competing on this upcoming season of the Bachelor, for the heart of Matt James. Kit and Cynthia have a mother-daughter podcast together called “Ageless.”
Thanks for reading! You can find more information about Cynthia Rowley here at her website, and as always, don’t forget to send us a follow on Instagram!
This article was written by Alexandria Nevarez on October 16, 2020.

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