Cynthia Rowley’s Tips for Crushing It In the Fashion World

Galore had the chance to attend the Millennial 20/20 North America Business Conference, which was amazing. We were able to interact and learn so many things from renowned business owners.

We sat down with one of our favorites, designer Cynthia Rowley, and she gave us the scoop on her special projects coming up this year, and we talked about her experience as a powerful woman in the entrepreneurial realm. One thing that’s for sure is this woman knows how to do business while still being true to herself and aspirations for the brand.

Here are a few of Mrs. Rowley’s inspirational af tips for succeeding if you’re an entrepreneur in a male-dominated field.

What’s separating you from other brands today in fashion?

I’ve been doing shows for a long time. Right now everything is changing and if you’re going to have a runway show you need to reimagine and reinvent what it is. I’ve differentiated from other brands by doing cool shows in extravagant places such as Sydney. Be on the lookout for the upcoming show in Shenzhen, China. It’s really exciting because it’s a whole new audience for us. I feel like an American designer in that country is different and making a statement in trade. What I think is cool is that we’re bringing the show to somewhere that’s totally unexpected. It’s fun taking the show on the road.

In a world where most fashion brands are trying to get millennials’ attention, how do you keep the brand relevant ?

Well we do a lot of collaborations and introduce a lot of new products. There’s always been a really young spirit to the brand since the beginning. I like the idea of surprising my audience. I think it’s important to have an artistic expression and have one place you are really putting out something pure. I love the creative process, the torture, the struggle, the unknowing, and the exhilaration when it actually works. It’s really exciting and I feel if you can experience that as a maker of something it shows in the work too. I like to make all kind of things that you wouldn’t expect.

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Where do you draw your inspiration from ?

Anything! Literally! A lot of inspiration comes from the idea that nobody has ever done this. Being inventive and having that curiosity.

A lot of our readers our inspiring entrepreneurs what advice can you give them about starting a brand in a male dominated world?

Thats a good one! I have to say being an entrepreneur is the greatest thing that you can do. It’s never been easier to have a little kernel of an idea and to grow especially in the time we’re in. You have to do it. It’s a great time for female entrepreneurs and I believe women are out there and more motivated to help each other. We have a thing in our company where we help staff members who have an entrepreneurial idea start their business. It’s important to foster entrepreneurial thinking in every step of the way. Even when you’re in the workplace you should still be thinking like an entrepreneur.

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To the people who want to work with Cynthia Rowley, what are the top 3 qualities you look for?

Oh yeah, okay let’s see. Definitely entrepreneurial thinking is a must. Teamwork and hard work are necessary. I work long hours and it’s really an environment that requires teamwork. Also creativity in everything that you do. A sense of humor is important to and no cry babies, there’s no crying in fashion. Another thing is commitment because you have to be fully committed to doing what it takes to make things work.

How do you pick yourself up during rough patches and is there any advice you would give to your 21-year-old self ?

Definitely being a business owner or being in a creative business is an emotional rollercoaster. Everyday there’s really extreme highs and lows. Everyday something doesn’t work and you just can’t get caught up in that.

You just have to have enough going on that there’s enough positive things that outweigh negative things. Have a pathological optimism. If it doesn’t work out it’s okay just constantly have a positive outlook.

The power of positive thinking is what gets you through.

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For the rest of the year, any special projects coming up? Give us the scoop!

Lots of traveling! I’m not sure if I’m able to talk about it but I’m just going to say it: we are doing bicycles, several bikes! For the beach we’re making board racks and also look forward to our Montauk store that’s re-opening at the end of April. This will also include a new pop-up shop, which is a surprise. Also we are coming for Miami Swim Week we will be doing a show which is really exciting.

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