TEXT, VIVIAN KELLY
Images of Resort 2011 RTW & Accessories, Richard Spiegel
Backstage Image – Bobbi Brown [L], Cynthia Rowley, [R]
Thanks to Cynthia’s on-the-ball PR Director, Michelle Finocchi, this talented designer is on my radar screen again. It’s not that there’s any lack of talent here, it’s simply that the amount of information and designers is overwhelming, and it takes clever marketing to get your work noticed.
Cynthia and Michelle understand this and get an A+ for their latest marketing coup. “The new busy is not the old busy” is the tagline someone who regularly emails me says. Truer words have not been spoken. With that in mind, they invited editors to:
“Join us tomorrow at one of our “on location” street-side presentations
Tuesday, June 15
1:00 – 2:00 PM, Condé Nast – W. 43rd St. between Sixth Ave. and Broadway
3:00 – 4:00 PM, Hearst – W. 57th St. between Eighth and Ninth Aves.
5:00 – 6:00 PM, Time, Inc. – W. 50th St. between Sixth and Seventh Aves.”
The option was to schedule a private showroom appointment, which we did, the following day, at the 376 Bleecker Street store. The C.R. store is full of affordable goodies, which have that quality that makes you want to pick them up and play with them. That sense of playfulness and a low [for designer] price point has always been a part of the Rowley DNA and key to why she’s still around and thriving.
The concept of “Resort” as in – “I’m going to Jamaica for 1 week in the dead of winter” is not really what Resort is about anymore. Resort has turned into a collection that is often a little more experimental [and thus more special] and keeps the offerings on the retail floor fresh while we all wait for fall 1 deliveries to arrive.
Cynthia designed her Resort dresses to be worn year-round, provided you’re in a 60-degree plus climate. Most of the prints are on the accessories, as seen on the wedges we loved. Like the Resort of old, there’s some swimwear on the line too. If you haven’t already, have a look at the suits Cynthia designed for Roxy. [The black cut out and striped scuba suit shown are on the line].
What really caught my interest though, were the surfboards that Cynthia and designer/innovator THOMAS MEYERHOFFER collaborated on. The project started when Thomas created a few experimental boards in his Bay Area studio. He took it to the next level and put them on the market for surfers to try. They were a hit with the surfing set, who praised them for their “truly unique performance characteristics”. The boards meet Meyerfhoffer’s criteria of creating products that alter user perception. Design critics took notice too, and prototypes of the boards were put on display in the Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum.
The Rowley-Meyerhoffer boards are for sale at Collette and the new C.R. store in Montauk. To better understand his work, dop over to www.meyerhoffer.com.
Going back to Resort, maybe you’ll just choose a pair of the sunglasses [$125-250], or go the whole 9 yards and
pick up a dress, a pair of wedges, some sunnies, and a surfboard, and dive-in head first into the laid-back Cali surfer vibe. No matter which way you go, you’re buying into a winning brand that makes it all feel like F-U-N again.
To view Cynthia’s empire, visit, www.cynthiarowley.com