Cynthia Rowley is one of the most popular fashion designers of the modern age.
Her influence on fashion branches out to every type of fashion, from semi-formal gowns to a whimsical line of home goods.
Rowley has had many great influences that include multiple members of her creative family and Andy Warhol.
Even during her early years as a designer, she never allowed anything to stop her determination from shining through.
What Is Cynthia Rowley’s Net Worth?
Cynthia Rowley has a net worth of $100 million, which she has earned as an American fashion designer.
Rowley had an incredibly early introduction to the world of art and design, with her mother and grandparents all being artists.
Cynthia Rowley created her first garment after learning to sew when she was only seven years old.
She was raised in Barrington, Illinois and graduated from Barrington High School in 1976.
Rowley then attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she entered many fashion competitions with varying degrees of success.
She was even kicked out of a fashion show for her use of wings for one of her creations.
Cynthia Rowley would go on to create her own fashion label named after herself, with which she would add color and whimsy to the world of fashion.
Inspired by the local climate of Chicago, her first clothing line was full of fuzzy, colorful sweaters.
Rowley wasn’t satisfied with just creating clothing.
She wanted to create a world full of whimsical and genuinely unique designs that would break up the bleak, mundane world around her.
After establishing herself as a clothing designer, Rowley began designing accessories such as eyewear.
Although her clothing and accessories are normally higher-end, she wanted to expand her dreamy designs into the lives of more people.
To accomplish this goal, she teamed up with Target to create a line of home goods, styled in her iconic fun and colorful patterns.
Cynthia Rowley often finds her inspiration in what she feels that the world needs at the time, which is what led her to create a line of surfing attire and other athletic wear.
The fame she has gained from her success in the fashion world has given her a chance to expand her career even further.
Creating Her Own Clothing Brand
Cynthia Rowley has built the foundation of her entire career on her clothing brand, Cynthia Rowley.
She is best known for fun, colorful, flowy, feminine styles that are fashionable while still having a child-like wonder about them.
After creating her first line of fuzzy mohair sweaters, she found a man who was willing to sell her designs around New York City, as long as she would pay for his plane ticket. Rowley agreed to the terms and sent the man on his way to the big city.
A few days later, he turned to Rowley after finding massive success in New York City.
He was able to sell 400 pieces to major stores like Henri Bendel and even to some smaller downtown boutiques looking for clothing pieces that couldn’t be found anywhere else.
Rowley thanks her carefree attitude as a young designer for the success she found only a little later in her life.
Without the fear of what the future would hold or what others thought, Cynthia Rowley was willing to do whatever it took to succeed.
Rowley acted on her instinct for every business decision after this point.
However, Rowley may not have had a business in the first place if she had not been given $3,000 in seed money from her grandparents.
Her family knew that design was in her blood, with one of her grandparents even designing the logo for Pabst Blue Ribbon beer.
They also knew that Rowley had the fearlessness and determination to survive in the world of fashion.
This passion for fashion is nearly genetic, with Rowley inspiring her older daughter, Kit Keenan, to create her own fashion line called KIT.
It seems that the same passion didn’t transfer to Rowley’s younger daughter, Gigi Powers, who’d rather practice music in her hoodie.
Designing Eyewear For B. Robinson
In late spring of 2005, Cynthia Rowley released her first line of eyewear with the support of B. Robinson and the Kenmark Group.
The odd, three-way alliance allowed each party to contribute their expertise, making their release as smooth as possible.
It was B. Robinson’s job to create the glasses and sell the eyewear to non-optical retailers, while the Kenmark Group would work on selling the glasses to private optical retailers and select optical service chains.
It was Rowley’s job to design glasses that actually stood out from other eyewear options.
Rowley’s biggest complaint with eyewear at the time was that all the frames were so similar that it was difficult to even tell them apart.
Many eyewear options just felt like the same five frames with new, normally bland paint jobs.
This collaboration ended up being extremely beneficial for both Rowley and the Kenmark Group.
The Kenmark Group only had about 80 individuals working for them at the time but were able to expand greatly after they collaborated with B. Robinson and Cynthia Rowley.
However, this wouldn’t be Rowley’s last time designing eyewear.
She would later go on to start two of her own eyewear collections, Cynthia Rowley Eyewear and Mr. Powers.
Cynthia Rowley has also released two eyewear collections with online optical seller Zenni.
She recently released her second line with them over quarantine for COVID-19.
While spending more time indoors and on her computer, Rowley has found that her eyes burn and tire more easily.
To combat this feeling, she has used Zenni’s blue light protection technology, Zenni Blokz.
With her more men-centric eyewear collection, Mr. Powers, she wanted to add a fun approach to the world of men’s eyewear.
A pair of Mr. Powers glasses are going to cost $129 and sunglasses cost $99.
Her Home Products With Target
By the early 2000s, most people knew Cynthia Rowley’s name thanks to her over-the-top, wanderlust-filled designs.
While not everyone could afford one of her clothing pieces, people wanted an affordable way to incorporate her art into their everyday life.
Target approached Rowley about the potential of creating a home goods line for their chain stores.
In 2002, Rowley created her first line of home goods for Target called Swell, which was based on her books from 1999 and 2002.
In 2008, Cynthia Rowley released a summer-themed, outdoor home goods line for the superstore chain, Target.
In the Whim collection, you could find more than 500 different products that all had Rowley’s signature bold colors and graphic designs.
Whim was inspired by Cynthia Rowley being a busy mother with two daughters of her own.
Her goal was to make it easy for consumers to add a splash of bold color or design into their everyday lives for an affordable price.
Rowley wasn’t done helping Target customers add as much whimsy as they could into their days.
In 2010, Target exclusively sold the Pampers diapers that Cynthia Rowley had designed.
Rowley designed 11 different diapers to give parents more options for their children.
Ever since teaming up with Target, Rowley has created a unique line of home goods that even included cleaning supplies like sponges.
Rowley wanted to give parents more options in design and style in every aspect of their daily lives.
Starting To Work With Athletic Wear
When you have as busy a life as Cynthia Rowley, you have to find that hobby in life that allows you to remove yourself from stress and take a breather.
Surfing is what Rowley does to get away from the problems of the world and connect the planet.
According to an interview she gave with Elle, Cynthia Rowley believes that surfers are the most eco-conscious people in the world because they see the effects of pollution so regularly and rely on the ocean waves to find peace and fun.
The peace that she has found in the water is something that she shares with her daughters Kit Keenan and Gigi Powers.
Powers has actually become a child surfing instructor, with her starting to give lessons when she was only 14 years old.
In her early years of surfing, Rowley found that wetsuits all looked the same and lacked any sense of personality or individual style.
While surfing, a fellow surfer came up to Rowley and was complimenting her work.
He asked about the potential of having her design surf wear for his company, Roxy.
Only then did the fellow surfer reveal himself to be Randy Hild.
The wetsuits sold incredibly well around the world, especially in New York City, Paris, Tokyo, and Sydney.
For her first line of wetsuits, Rowley played around with multiple different cuts that the surfer world had never seen before.
Her most popular of these designs were her boy-cut bodysuits.
However, Rowley wanted to do more with the design of her clothing.
Cynthia Rowley worked hard to create her first printed wetsuit but managed to complete her goal.
That’s when Quicksilver, a fashion production company, gave her one of their factories to make the popular printed bodysuits.
Her Appearances On Television
Cynthia Rowley has a fun-loving personality that shines brilliantly whenever she’s on the screen.
That’s why she was the perfect person to have as a judge on televised design competitions such as HGTV Stars, Project Runway, 24 Hour Catwalk, and Project Runway All Stars.
On HGTV Stars, eight interior designers went head-to-head in weekly design challenges with the judges voting to remove one designer each week until only the grand winner is left to receive a prize of $50,000 and their own HGTV show!
Cynthia Rowley was one of the judges in the 2008 run of the show, alongside Vern Yip and Genevieve Gorder.
Now, HGTV is bringing the show back with new judges and contestants.
The new judges include Jonathan Adler, Lauren Makk, and a new celebrity judge each week.
Her second time as a television judge was on the sixth episode of Project Runway All Stars, for the episode themed around transformations in 2013.
She had also appeared as the guest judge on episode 6, season 8 of Project Runway in 2010.
In 2012, Rowley had her fashion competition show 24 Hour Catwalk, where she judged fashion designer contestants with fellow judges Alexa Chung, Derek Blasberg, and James LaForce.
Contestants were given only 24 hours to create looks that appealed to a theme and to the panel of judges.
All of the judges were extremely passionate about the show and their decisions.
Cynthia Rowley explained that the judges would have to duke out their strong opinions about the contestants’ placement in the competition.
Cynthia Rowley appeared on the television show Celebrity Ghost Stories, talking about how she would often see the apparition of a woman with a scarf covering her face.
After a fire broke out in the house, Rowley found out the previous owner of the house had been severely burned in a house fire.
Her Work As An Author
Cynthia Rowley is a wonderfully creative person who has learned to express herself through a multitude of creative mediums.
In 1999, she released her first book, Swell: A Girl’s Guide to the Good Life.
Rowley wrote her first book alongside friend and style editor Ilene Rosenzweig.
The two gave their advice for those who wanted to live dashing lives while also learning to go with the flow and not worry about minor problems or hiccups.
When trying to become the best host possible, Rowley and Rosenzweig state that perfection is overrated and that an imperfect host comes off as more inviting and genuine because imperfect is just a part of human nature.
Rosenzweig and Rowley also give practical advice to their readers, such as how to call a taxi, golf term definitions, and even how to hook a worm.
The book often brings up the idea of “pathological optimism”, which would be a common occurring topic in Rowley and Rosenzweig’s future books.
The same creative duo released Home Swell Home: Designing Your Dream Pad, which gave advice to young homeowners while also providing comical anecdotes from Rowley and Rosenzweig’s own lives.
In this book, they discuss how to take creative aspiration and apply practical execution, how to get paint out of your hair, using fluorescent lights to change the appearance of your walls, how to turn your kitchen into a day spa, and how to wire lights in your trees to create a moonlight-like look.
Rowley and Rosenzweig share multiple other publications together, which include Swell Holiday: Turning Up the Twinkle, and The Swell Dressed Party.
On her own, Rowley wrote and illustrated Slim: A Fantasy Memoir.
Cynthia Rowley In The World Of Real Estate
Cynthia Rowley is someone who understands that the most important part of real estate is location, and her favorite location is one of the most expensive cities to live in: New York City.
Rowley had owned four houses in the West Village of New York, but sold one in 2019.
The house was originally built in 1905 and was zoned for both commercial and residential use.
The 25-foot-wide townhouse served as a workspace for Rowley, which was perfect for her because the home she and her family stayed in was nearby.
In 2014, Rowley had paid $10.995 million for the space and put it on the market for $17 million four years later.
However, it took a year and price reduction before anyone was interested in the house.
The following year, she sold the 6,000 square feet home for $14 million.
However, Rowley still owns a property in the area.
Her 19-foot-wide townhouse is home to her New York boutique.
Her Podcast With Kit Keenan
Cynthia Rowley hosts a mother–daughter podcast with her daughter, Kit Keenan, called Ageless.
In the show, the fashion family duo talks about their misadventures and the lessons that they learned along the way.
The podcast releases bi-weekly and has a slew of guests on to talk about the world of fashion, art, business, parenting, and wellness.
They also talk about their beliefs in the importance of body image, food, justice, and even astrology.
Although Rowley and Keenan may have two different personalities and outlooks on life, they still come together to do all the things they love most.
The relationship they’ve formed is on full display in their podcast.