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Cynthia Rowley, Designer

"I like to resuscitate my old stuff, you know, put the defibrillator paddles on an old black dress."

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Where are you going today?
To lunch at Pastis with an editor at Vogue.

What are you wearing?
The dress is about eight years old—it’s vintage Cynthia Rowley! The belt is this season; the stockings were last fall, and the shoes and the bag are next fall. The jacket is by my friend Gary Graham. He’s a designer who makes these cool leather jackets and then washes them so they get all shrunken and worn-looking. People are always telling me I have a rip in my sleeve, and I say, “No, it’s supposed to be like that.”

Do you always wear your own clothes?
Only because I get embarrassed if people ask me and I’m not. Like these shoes, which I’m totally obsessed about—some lady pulled up in a taxi and said, “Where did you get those shoes?” It would be too embarrassing to say, “Louboutin!” “Marc Jacobs!” Plus I like to resuscitate my old stuff, you know, put the defibrillator paddles on an old black dress.

If you were to wear other designers, who would you wear?
I do wear a lot of vintage. I guess I would like a little bit from a lot of different designers. European, mostly. Bill, my boyfriend, did just buy me some Prada shoes, which I thought was the most romantic thing in the world.

Who would you like to see in your clothes?
In my personal clothes? Brad Pitt. I would’ve liked to have dressed John DeLorean in the seventies, but I guess I’m a little late for that.

What beauty products do you use?
I use Redken Water Wax in my hair every day. I can’t leave the house without it. And then I usually just wake up in the morning and don’t put on any makeup, just sunglasses. I drop my daughter off at school, and when I get to work I do makeup—eyeliner, mascara, and lipstick. I have my own makeup that’s sold in Japan only, and I use that, but I love Vincent Longo’s Pearl Berry lipstick and L’Oréal Voluminous Mascara.

Your office used to be in the garment district. Are you glad you moved to the West Village?
I was standing on the corner the other day and this mother and daughter were saying, “I love you 1600 percent,” “I love you a million percent,” and I thought, that just does not happen on 40th and Seventh.


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