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Cynthia Rowley Net Worth | Famous Fashion Designer’s Business Empire

cynthia rowley
Reading Time: 8 minutes
Cynthia Rowley Net Worth: $100 Million
Born: 29th July 1968 (53 Years Old)
Profession: Fashion Designer
Children: 2
Nationality: American

According to Celebritynetworth.com, the American fashion designer Cynthia Rowley is worth $100 million.

Early Life 

Cynthia Rowley was born on 28th July 1968 to parents Ed and Clementine Rowley. Her father was a science teacher, and her mother was a painter.

Cynthia’s grandparents were also creative and were into painting – and one designed the first Pabst Blue Ribbon beer logo.

pabst blue ribbon logo
The famous Pabst Blue Ribbon Logo. Credit: Twitter

When Cynthia was seven years old, she made her first item of clothing – a dress.


Cynthia attended Barrington High School, a four-year public high school in a northwest Chicago suburb.

During her senior year in 1981, she won a fellowship award at SAIC.

Cynthia then attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, earning her Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1988. It was while she was at SAIC that she sold her first collection to Marshall Fields.

Start A Fashion Line and Move to New York

After winning the SAIC fellowship award, Cynthia used the money to move to New York and launch her professional career.

In 1988, Rowley’s company, the Cynthia Rowley Collection, was incorporated. Her first collection was a capsule collection.

Expanding Her Collection

Cynthia’s first collection was a capsule collection, but she now incorporates handbags, women’s wear, color cosmetics, glasses, wetsuits, swimwear, fragrances, office accessories, home furnishings, and bedding products.

Rowley launched her first menswear collection, the Mr. Powers Collection, in 2011, named after her third husband, Bill Powers.

cynthia rowley and bill powers
Cynthia named a collection after her husband, Bill Powers.

Presenting Her Fashion Designs

Rowley presents her designs at New York Fashion Week. There are also signature stores in Chicago, New York City, Palm Beach, Montauk, Newport Beach, Pacific Palisades, and online.

Rowley has partnered with Half Gallery, Roxy, and Target.

Design style

The New York Times has described Cynthia’s designs as “flirty, vibrantly colored dresses and tops in wispy materials” with “a whiff of the carefree, simple spirit” of the 20th-century designer Claire McCardell.

cynthia rowley in vibrant pink dress
Cynthia in a “vibrant” dress. Credit: Instagram

Awards and Accolades

In 1994, Cynthia Rowley won a Perry Ellis Award for New Fashion Talent, which was honored by the Council of Fashion Designers of America.

In 2012, Cynthia was recognized for her talents again and was awarded the Legend of Fashion Award by the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, to which her husband was also awarded.

Finally, in 2015, she won Designer of the Year at the Annual American Apparel and Footwear Association American Image Awards.

Cynthia Rowley’s Media Appearances and Books

Cynthia Rowley has made many appearances on fashion-related TV programs. She was a guest judge on four fashion-based reality TV shows. This includes America’s Next Top Model, 24 Hour Catwalk, Design Star, and Project Runway.

Rowley has also been a guest on many other TV shows, including Good Morning America, The Today Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Celebrity Jeopardy, The Late Show with David Letterman, and Gossip Girl.

Additionally, the show Return to Amish on TLC follows Kate Stoltzfus on her internship at Cynthia Rowley’s design company.

Aside from television appearances, Rowley is also an accomplished author, having written and co-written several books. These include:

  • Swell: A Girl’s Guide to the Good Life (with co-author and friend Ilene Rosenzweig) in 1999
  • Home Swell Home (with Rosenzweig) in 2002
  • Swell Holiday (with Rosenzweig) in 2003
  • The Swell Dressed Party (with Rosenzweig) in 2005
  • Slim: A Fantasy Memoir in 2007

Swell Girls Guide to the Good Life was written for girls wanting to live the good life as a ‘bon vivant’ rather than a snob.

Home Swell Home was a follow-up to Rowley’s debut book. It introduces Haute décor and presents outfitting the home to be as accessible and exciting as buying new clothes.

Swell Holiday: Turning Up the Twinkle is also about Christmastime.

Slim: A Fantasy Memoir is a collection of part-fiction, part-memoir stories that are accompanied by more than forty of Rowley’s original drawings.

Personal Life

Rowley has been married three times. Her first husband was Tom Sullivan. Sullivan was an international fashion photographer from New York City. He also wrote and directed a movie called Tilt-A-Whirl.

Cynthia married Tom in 1987 in New York City. Sadly, some seven years later, Tom died of brain cancer at the age of thirty-two.

Cynthia Rowley’s second husband was the Brooklyn sculptor William Keenan Jr. Together, they had a daughter called Kit Clementine Keenan, who was born on 20th May 1999. Kit appeared on the reality show The Bachelor in 2021.

cynthia rowley with her daughter kit
Rowley with her daughter Kit from her second marriage. Credit: PopSugar

Cynthia’s daughter aspires to be a great businesswoman like her mother. Together, they host a Spotify podcast called ‘Ageless.’ In the podcast, they discuss fashion, business, and motherhood.

Kit also has her own eponymous women’s clothing line and brand, and she collaborates with other talented artists to produce t-shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies, and more.

After separating from Kit’s father, Cynthia married the art dealer and writer William “Bill” Powers. Her third husband owns the Half Gallery on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

On 27th January 2005, Cynthia gave birth to Gigi Clementine Powers, her second daughter and first with Bill Powers.

Cynthia Rowley’s Net Worth and Property

Cynthia Rowley owned a New York City West Village townhouse that she tried to sell for $18 million. However, it sold for $14 million in March 2019. She had purchased this home for $11 million in 2014, thus gaining a tidy sum of $3 million in profit.

According to public records, it is believed that she owns two or more other New York City properties.


Along with her daughters and husband, Cynthia loves surfing. The family has a home in Montauk, and when there, they spend all the time in the water.

Cynthia hasn’t always been a surfer. She didn’t take up the sport until her mid-thirties, and it has now become part of her daily routine.

With her husband’s background, it’s no surprise that the family is into their art. In fact, it was in Harlem’s studio museum that Cynthia’s water broke during her pregnancy with Gigi.

cynthia rowley surfing
Cynthia Rowley is a regular surfer. Credit: New York Times

Surf Camp

Each year, Rowley hosts her Cynthia Rowley Surf Camp in Montauk, New York. She invites a number of girls every year to participate for a few days, and the trip always begins at Cynthia’s Montauk store, which has colorful and bright wetsuits by the dozen.

Cynthia Rowley Quotes

“There’s always an excuse to celebrate someone you love” – Cynthia Rowley.

“People always ask what my inspiration is, and it’s never something that’s easily explained.” – Cynthia Rowley.

“Be thankful for all successes, lose your ego, take risks, fail fast, and if you don’t absolutely love what you do, run!

– Cynthia Rowley

“When I was in art school, I worried that being painted seemed like it could be an elusive dream, and fashion seemed so much more secure.” – Cynthia Rowley.

“Overhearing people’s conversations about art – that’s always entertaining.” – Cynthia Rowley.

“I always think clothing is like a scrapbook: you remember all the good memories and the past times.” – Cynthia Rowley.

“All I ever wanted to do was make things. My whole life has been a constant evolution on that theme.”

– Cynthia Rowley

“Art has definitely influenced how I think of design, both as individual items and as a body of work.” – Cynthia Rowley.

“I really detest brunch. I think it’s a waste of a good day. Detest is a little too severe, but I would say I’m not a brunch person.” – Cynthia Rowley.

Summary: Cynthia Rowley Net Worth 2024

  • Cynthia Rowley’s Net Worth is around $100 million.
  • She was born on 29th July 1968, making her 53 years old.
  • Her mother was a painter, and her grandparents were also artistic.
  • Rowley began designing clothes at an early age and made her first dress at just seven years old.
  • She attended Barrington High School in her hometown near Chicago.
  • Rowley attended SAIC – the School of the Art Institute of Chicago – where she started to get recognition for her work. She sold her first collection while she was still studying.
  • She won a prize for her talent while at SAIC.
  • Rowley’s first collection was a capsule wardrobe. She now makes an enormous range of products, which include homeware, clothes, accessories, and even wetsuits.
  • Rowley has been married three times. Her first husband was an international fashion photographer who died of brain cancer. Her second husband was a sculptor who fathered her first daughter, Kit.
  • After divorcing her second husband, Rowley married an art dealer called Bill Powers, to whom she had her second daughter, Gigi.
  • As well as being in fashion, Cynthia Rowley has appeared as a judge on many fashion-themed reality TV shows. She has also guest-starred on other shows.
  • Cynthia has written and co-written several books.
  • In her spare time, Cynthia Rowley loves to surf – a sport she only took up during her thirties. She now runs a surf camp each year.
  • Cynthia’s daughter Kit is also an aspiring fashion designer and appeared on The Bachelor in 2021.
  • Cynthia Rowley is said to own several properties in New York.

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