Being an influencer is new to me. I support myself by operating my own styling business and am lucky to have a fabulous roster of clients, both personal and corporate. Recently, I’ve been trying to expand my network of shopping resources for my clients. It’s incredibly important to me, that I have access to the best merchandise from emerging designers, staple brands, contemporary price points, designer selections, and everything in between. That said, a friend of mine, introduced me to a fabulous new go-to spot in Palm Beach called the Royal Poinciana Plaza.
While there, a window display of a fierce surfboard and wetsuit caught my eye and I found myself walking into the Cynthia Rowley Boutique. I always identified Cynthia Rowley as a brand for the ultra-feminine and frilly, but now I’m singing a different tune. From surfwear to workout sets and street style sweatshirts to sequin shift dresses, this compact boutique really had something I felt all of my clients would love. Follow @cynthiarowley on Instagram if you don’t already!
I chatted it up with the store manager for a bit (hi Dawn- you’re fab!) and she invited me back for a special event and personal appearance with designer Cynthia Rowley. I knew I needed to meet this woman in the flesh, and with just a week’s notice, I marked my calendar and called in my collaborations partner to get me set-up with an interview. Compliments of Cynthia Rowley, I rocked one of her pink sequin frocks, and paired it with my trusty Iro leather jacket and my YSL Tribute Heels:
Cynthia couldn’t have been more gracious or down-to-earth to all of the event attendees. I realized throughout my Q&A with the designer, that her designs are always evolving, and that they are inspired by the people and places she loves. This woman is AMAZING! If you’re a fashion junkie like me, you’ll really enjoy reading all of her answers to my questions, and trust me, you’ll end up following her daughter on Instagram.
1. We are thrilled to have a Cynthia Rowley boutique here in South Florida. What made you choose Palm Beach as the destination for your latest location?
I love a good get-away and I wanted to turn my dreams of an endless summer into a reality. Palm Beach is paradise.
2. Do you frequent Palm Beach often? If so, what are you favorite “go-to” places on the island?
My last visit was the most exciting because I got to meet you and so many interesting and stylish women. Since I usually come in the winter and travel with my family, we are always thrilled to be at the beach or by a pool and enjoy a lot of great meals. Breakfast outside at the Four Seasons, lunch at Surfside Diner, Pizza al Fresco for a casual dinner, and ice cream at the Breaker’s Hotel.
3. Browsing through your current Resort 2018 collection currently in the boutique, I notice such a strong range of colors, fabric and silhouettes from flowy pastels to sporty stripes to chic metallics. There seems to be a piece that would appeal to any woman regardless of her style preferences. What was your inspiration for this collection?
Wow thank you so much! I know when I get dressed I can be in the mood for something soft and pretty one day, and bright and sporty the next. Like most women with a busy lifestyle, I want to go in and have one shop where I can get a swimsuit, fitness, leggings, a pretty cocktail dress, and some cute shoes.
4. I can’t help but fawn over your collection of surf and swimwear. If I could surf, believe me, I’d be rocking your wetsuits! What made you decide to expand your brand into surf, swim and activewear?
You DEFINITELY don’t need to be a surfer to wear our wetsuits. Splashing in the ocean, or swimming in a chilly pool, you’ll feel comfy, sexy, and everything is SPF50! I love to surf which is how it all started and the idea of fashion and function has always been an obsession.
5. Your Fall 2018 collection looks incredible! I notice a lot of black and white prints, strips, and polka-dots incorporated into the designs which is right up my alley. However, I’m super into the playful socks you’ve styled with heels in the collection’s look-book. Will these socks be available to your clients? For those a little intimidated by the “socks with heels” trend, how do you suggest properly executing the look?
I’m really into socks (coming soon) right now and I love socks with heels. Of course it’s not for everyone, but all these looks will look amazing with or without…I guess fashion is never just black and white
6. Who is the first person you dressed for a Red Carpet event, and what was that experience like?
I think it might have been Julia Roberts, who also wears our wetsuits. But through the years there’s been a wide array, most recently Janelle Monae. It’s always a thrill!
7. You reside in the West Village in Manhattan with your family. What is your favorite restaurant or shop that you’ve discovered in your neighborhood?
Old favorites like Magnolia Bakery, which is across from our Bleecker Street store, and a bunch of new delicious healthy foods like Butcher’s Daughter and By Chloe.
8. Your daughter Kit’s style is a bit badass! I discovered a video of her surfing in heels… um, so cool! Does her edginess or millennial spirit ever inspire or influence your clothing designs?
We made that video in Montauk (shredding in heels) to show how our brand is sporty and pretty at the same time. Kit has always been a badass, playing drums and skateboarding when she was little and now a freshman at USC film school. Follow her insta @kitkeenan – she has a lot of cool things coming up
9. Final question! How would you describe the Cynthia Rowley client?
There’s too many adjectives that come to mind! Fearless, curious, inspired, creative, adventurous, strong, thoughtful…to name a few.
Since meeting Cynthia, I’ve been featuring a lot of her looks on my Instagram, and have been dressing a handful of my clients in her pieces. With Miami Swim Week coming up, it’s a fun time to shop swimwear. Check out some of my Cynthia Rowley ready-to-wear and swim favorites below and if you’re up for a trip to Palm Beach, make sure you plan for brunch and shopping at the Royal Poinciana Plaza.
Editor: Dana Filetti
Cynthia Rowley: @cynthiarowley