Out-partying any typical staid Southern affair, several hundred guests gathered at Belk’s newly-minted Galleria Dallas flagship store on April 17 to enjoy a first-ever Girl’s Night Out event. While tweens gushed over photo opps with YouTube sensations Tracy and Stefanie of Eleventh Gorgeous, grown-up gals indulged in blissful nail pampering, sparkling cocktails, and an endless array of desserts. But those were just the opening acts.
Set to headline the soirée was famed fashion designer Cynthia Rowley (pictured above with Arlene Goldstein, Belk’s Vice President of Trend Merchandising). Her designs have graced the covers of nearly every major fashion publication, and Rowley continues to be a leader in the industry. She’s known for breaking boundaries, proving to all why she has been and will continue to be a longstanding contender in the fashion world.
As the renowned designer prepared for a runway show featuring the CYNTHIA Cynthia Rowley Collection, she sat down with DFW Style Daily to dish on her involvement with Belk, her crazy (yet unstoppable) aspirations, and most importantly, her growing obsession with Big D. Read on for our candid interview with Cynthia Rowley and learn why, after all of these years, she remains fearless.
DFW Style Daily: Belk proudly sticks by its motto: Modern. Southern. Style. What makes the Cynthia Rowley brand synonymous with this slogan?
Cynthia Rowley: “I’ve always been known for color and print and pretty much feminine stuff. I’ve learned so much about the Southern woman and what she wants – especially since I live in New York where it’s freezing cold in the winter, and I’m from Illinois, where it’s even colder.”
Given your proclivity for bold prints, what advice would you offer the shopper who might be a bit pattern shy?
“It can be hard to wear printed pants or [printed] leggings, but if you pair them with a solid top or a jacket, it is easier to wear. Pairing print on print is trendy for sure, but you should be a little fearless in fashion. Go for it! What’s the worst that can happen? It’s better to create a little commotion than to just fade into the woodwork.”
From eyewear to bedding to beauty products, you have designed it all, without limits. Where is the future of your brand headed?
“I don’t think there should be any boundaries. I just feel like, if you have an idea, you have to just go for it. I’ve worked so hard and for so long that the greatest reward is to have an idea and just do it.”
To wit, the confident designer followed her own advice with the opening of two CuRious Candy locations in New York. She admits that people labeled her as insane. To go from being a noted fashion designer to selling salted caramel cotton candy and edible tea cups, it seemed to some that Rowley had veered off into left field. In her own mind, however, the “high style and high concept” shops made sense to her – so she went for it.
We believe it’s safe to say that she isn’t going to stop there. Rowley added, “Maybe there’s a car [design] in the future, maybe something like that. …We’ll see. There shouldn’t be any limits. Don’t wait, otherwise someone else will do it before you.”
Closing our interview on the subject of our own fair city, Rowley enthused, “I love Dallas, just love it. I have been to every art museum here.”
Expanding on her previous visit, the designer then noted several hotspots among her local favorites. “I was here for a weekend last October, and I went to every museum, the State Fair, and the Cotton Bowl,” Rowley recalled. “I also went to a Cowboys game, the Nasher Sculpture Center, The Dallas Contemporary, and I ate barbecue. The food here – oh my God!”
Clearly Cynthia Rowley loves Dallas, and from the overwhelming response from her fans at Belk, Dallas loves her back. To explore Rowley’s vibrant collection, visit Belk.com or head to Level Two at Belk at Galleria Dallas.
All images courtesy of Shana Anderson Photography.