Illinois native Cynthia Rowley was seven when she designed her first dress and a senior at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago when she sold her first collection of eight pieces to some of New York's most prominent stores. Over the years, the Cynthia Rowley collection has grown to include menswear, jeans, shoes, eyewear, hosiery, umbrellas, handbags, small leather goods and a signature fragrance. There are Cynthia Rowley boutiques in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and East Hampton, and many in Japan. The collection is also represented in better department and specialty stores both domestically and internationally. Cynthia's creative endeavors have proven to be award winning. The council of Fashion Designers of America CFDA honored her with the prestigious New Fashion Talent Award. The CFDA recognized Cynthia again three seasons after introducing a complete menswear line with a nomination for the Perry Ellis Award for New Menswear Design Talent.
A wide range of targeted media has helped Cynthia Rowley reach a large national and international audience. She has appeared on television in business profiles on CNN and CNBC. She has been featured on MTV, Entertainment tonight, VH!, Life of Luxury, and E!. Cynthia has also appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman, and is a frequent guest on national morning shows, including Good Morning America, The Today Show and The View. Editorial coverage includes features in print media such as Harper's Bazaar, W, Vogue, Elle, Glamour, and The New York Times. In 1999, Cynthia and her best friend, Ilene Rosenzweig, the former deputy style editor for The New York Times, co-authored the best-selling book, Swell: A Girl's guide to the Good Life. The highly anticipated sequel, Home Swell Home, was released in 2002 and was followed by Swell Holiday in 2003. The next book in the series, an entertaining guide, The Swell Dressed Party, Spring 2005. Swell's popularity has brought many exciting spin-offs; a monthly column in glamour, engagement calendars, mini-books, swell-related television programs and products for home. The success of swell co has spawned housewares and lifestyle books and a license deal with Tarrant Apparel for the design, production, and distribution of jeans, paper goods and housewares. Cynthia has many hidden talents, including the art prime-time television commercials. In her free time she enjoys many death-defying adventures, from skydiving to trapeze performances to surfing. She is a fan of contemporary art and an avid art collector.