High Point Market Blogger Exclusive: Tete-a-tete With Cynthia Rowley Plus More of Her New Collection
Fashion designer Cynthia Rowley's new furniture collection for Hooker Furniture Company was one of the hottest new introductions at High Point Market. I hope you saw my sneak peeks here and on Instagram. Known for breaking boundaries and taking fashion in a new direction, tastemaker Rowley created a line filled with dressmaker-like details like tassel and pendant hardware, plus an innovative, and often glamorous, use of materials.
She uses mother-of-pearl, jade onyx, inventive use of stripes, lucite,Venetian mirror and lots of gold metal, among other elements.
Cynthia even designed the fabrics.
The collection is subdivided into three different categories: "Pretty," "Sporty" and "Curious."
As Cynthia explained, " I've always believed mixing is better than matching, which is why my new collection with Hooker Furniture is divided into three stories. Each one has its own attitude: "Pretty" suggests a delicate opulence, "Sporty" bold, graphic and colorful, "Curious", global and eclectic. Because your style changes day-to-day, or even day-to-night to reflect your mood, decorate your home with that same spirit and personality."
Hooker Furniture was the first stop on the Design Bloggers Tour, where Cynthia walked us all through the collection. But only I had opportunity to sit down later with Cynthia one on one to discuss the line, her creative process and a little bit about her personally. Here are some excerpts from our tete-a-tete.
LB: Pretty, Curious and Sporty. Does that describe your personality?
CR: It describes three parts of my personality (laughs). I always try to be pretty and sporty in what I do. I like to balance that tomboy edge with something feminine. As for curious--it's so important in life. Curiosity and exploration are where we get all of our inspiration.
LB: Why did you do a furniture collection?
CR: When I was a kid I was always making things: clothes, art, anything. I never wanted to be a fashion designer--I just liked making stuff. I still like making things. In addition to clothes, I have a line for Staples, I make bandaids--I even want to make a car! Creating a furniture collection was one more thing for me to make.
LB: How did designing a furniture collection differ from designing fashion?
CR: There was no difference for me. I consider it all the same creative process and approached it exactly the same way. For example, the tall chest with the mother of pearl flower hardware--that was like a button. I focused on making sure that each piece had some feature that made it unique and special.
LB: What did you learn while creating the furniture collection?
CR: Terms (laughs), like "eglomise,"but (getting serious) in a way my naiveté brought something to the process. I had no limits on my creative thought. I started with a simple sketch, and we would go through CAD drawings and everything, but the people at Hooker really had the experience to translate my ideas into a reality. They retained each unique feature while preserving value in the piece. And I am happy to say that everything we designed made it into production.
LB: We both have homes in Montauk NY. Is there a piece in the collection you think would be perfect for your Montauk house?
CR: Do you have one in mind for your house?
LB: I love the twig mirror, but how about you?
CR: I love what we did with jade onyx. It reminds me of water, which makes me think of Montauk, so perhaps the jade onyx coffee table.
LB: When did you first know you were a creative type?
CR: Alway, always. There was never a time that I didn't know. I made my first outfit at age 7.
LB: What can't you live without?
CR: Of course, my family. Aside from them, I can't live without adventure.
LB: What's your favorite color?
CR: Gold. Not the color gold, but the patina of the metal.
I love what Cynthia has to say about fashion, interiors and style because she so perfectly captured it in this collection: "Fashion and style reach beyond clothes... It's the art of living," adding that "I hope people will buy the pieces because they love them, and not worry about making it all work with everything else in the room---you need a spark to make the room exciting."
I think there are plenty of sparks in this fantastic collection.
This is not a sponsored post. Full room shots, courtesy of Hooker Furniture. Photo of young Cynthia Rowley from her. Other photos by Lynn Byrne.