At age seven, Cynthia Rowley designed her first dress. While a senior at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Illinois native sold her first, eight-piece collection to several renowned New York City department stores.
Upon graduation, Rowley moved to Manhattan, where she hosted her first runway show in her walk-up apartment. Although she invited numerous big-name fashion editors, none of them attended. Rowley persevered, and over time, she grew her initial women's wear line to include men's wear, leather goods, accessories, denim, shoes, umbrellas and hosiery. She also made a name for herself with an eponymous, vintage-inspired ready-to-wear collection.
In 1999, Rowley and close friend Ilene Rosenzweig wrote the bestselling book ""Swell: A Girl's Guide to the Good Life."" The pair released their second book in the series, ""Home Swell Home,"" in 2002. The third book in the series, ""Swell Holiday,"" was released in 2003, and the fourth in the sequence, ""The Swell Dressed Party,"" debuted in 2005.
In addition to designing her collections and authoring style books, Rowley is a sought-after style authority who has lent her skills to the ""David Letterman Show,"" ""Oprah,"" ""America's Got Talent"" and ""Project Runway.""
In 2005, Cynthia Rowley released her first, self-titled women's fragrance. In 2008, she partnered with Avon to create Flower by Cynthia Rowley for women and Petal by Cynthia Rowley for girls.