Cynthia Rowley’s Approach to Design: Embrace Chaos and Say ‘Yes’

Laurel Pinson

Welcome to our Rule Breakers series, which spotlights five fabulous, gutsy women who are breaking boundaries in their respective fields—from supermodel Chrissy Teigen to designer Cynthia Rowley. Over the next few months, expect career advice, risk-taking tips, and insight on how to be an overall badass. Read more about the series!

Cynthia Rowley doesn’t take no for an answer. “If you tell me that it can never be done, then I’m definitely going to do it,” she insists. Needless to say, that’s one of the reasons she’s so killer—well, that and her incredible taste in clothes.

Since launching her fashion business in the ’80s, Rowley has established herself as a wildly successful American designer whose work is rooted in her colorful, carefree aesthetic. (“I start my day like I’ve been shot out of a cannon,” she laughs). Prints and sporty silhouettes are core to her collections, and the designer herself often infuses her own pursuits into her line—designing wetsuits, for example, since she’s an avid surfer.

MORE: Rule Breaking Beauty Tips: 8 Long-Lasting Manicure Tips For Your Busy Lifestyle

Mostly, Rowley is a perennial optimist, insisting that she follows Andy Warhol’s advice in saying “yes” to everything. Here, the designer gives us some insight into what makes her such a forward-thinking creative —from embracing chaos to going outside your comfort zone.

StyleCaster’s Rule Breakers series is presented by Revlon.

Production Director: Samantha Lim
Producer: Robert Vasquez
Makeup: Yuui Vision
Videographers: Simba Productions