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Born on the Beach: ROXY & Cynthia Rowley

Who would’ve guessed that Cynthia Rowley, one of fashion’s favorite designers, is an avid surfer? Well, it’s true and to top it off, Rowley has teamed up with the iconic surfer-girl brand, ROXY to create The Cynthia Rowley for ROXY collection. (We mentioned that all the way back in October)

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The Cynthia Rowley for ROXY collection adds fashion to functional surf pieces like wetsuits and lends function to fashion pieces such as neoprene ballet flats. The collection includes a mix of sportswear, swim and accessories. Highlights include a neoprene pencil skirt, oversized, double-knit hoodie, neoprene short wetsuit and leather sandals with giant silk tassels.

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To celebrate the new collection and to fete Rowley, Barneys hosted an intimate soirée at its downtown Wooster Street store location. Attendees included the likes of fellow surfer and designer, Tracy Feith, along with pro surfers Lisa Andersen and Kassia Meador. We were able to briefly catch up with Rowley after the party last week – she shared a bit of insight about her design inspiration, color direction and of course, where she likes to surf:

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Q: What brought you to start surfing and how long have you been surfing?

A: I bought a little shack by the beach in Montauk about ten years ago, which prompted me to start surfing. Everyone said, “You can’t be out here and not be in the water.”

Q: Who are some of your favorite surf icons?

A: Of course I want to support the ladies – Lisa Anderson, Kassia Meador and Stephanie Gilmore.

Q: Where are some of your favorite surf spots around the world?

A: There are so many great spots! Barbados, Trinidad and the DR are some of my favorites–and they’re easy to get to in the winter via direct flights. I also like far-flung locales like Essaouira in Morocco, Chile and Peru.

Q:The color palette for the Roxy Collection is really beautiful. How did you come up with that direction?

A: My friend Richard Phillips, who is a renowned painter, gave me the best complement when he said he loved the use of color in the collection. A lot of surf gear for women is just tweaked out versions for men and mostly dark. Doing the milky pastels with a hit of brights makes a big impact.

Q: How was the design process with Roxy different from how you design your own collection?

A: I’m really enjoying exploring the technical fabrics and the construction of surf pieces like wetsuits….and thinking about how they can be applied to fashion.

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