Cynthia Rowley on Fitness, Surfing and Her New Athletic Line


Cynthia Rowley

Cynthia Rowley; Image: WENN

No designer has championed chic fitness apparel quite like Cynthia Rowley. In 2010, before athleisure wear became a fashion phenomenon, the New York-based designer teamed with Roxy to produce stylish and functional leggings, jackets, board shorts and tees that could easily take you from your barre class to brunch. She later partnered with J.Crew on a line of limited-edition color-blocked wet suits that flew off the shelves, and most recently debuted a fitness capsule collection for Spring 2015. But that’s not all. Now, she’s launching a full-fledged fitness line called ROWLEY for Fall 2015; the new collection will hit stores in July at Net-A-Porter, Carbon38 and Bloomingdale’s. In anticipation of the summer release, we caught up with the designer to talk fitness, surfing and what’s coming down the pipeline.

tFS: You’ve been a surfer for 15 years. How would you rate your wave riding skills?

CR: I’m completely obsessed with surfing and with designing swimsuits and wetsuits, but I’m a much better designer.

tFS: What are your favorite beaches?

CR: I always want to keep the best surf spots a secret, but Nosara, Costa Rica, Honolulu, and anywhere there is a good left.

tFS: What’s your most memorable surfing story?

CR: In Tahiti, I broke my hand and then MacGyver-ed my own cast out of styrofoam and duct tape and kept surfing!

Cynthia Rowley Fitness Spring 2015

Cynthia Rowley Fitness Spring 2015; Image: Cynthia Rowley

tFS: What else do you like to do to stay fit?

CR: Anything and everything. I like a good class―SoulCycle, Surfset, Barre―and also wakeboarding, waterskiing, snowboarding and Citi biking. The sky is the limit, but I draw the line at skydiving.

tFS: What’s on your iPod when you’re working out?

CR: I like to mix it up: Milky Chance, The Rolling Stones, Kanye, Daft Punk.

tFS: What’s a fitness trend that we’ll never see you doing? 

CR: I’m always up for anything that is athletic, and something I can enjoy with my girls.

theFashionSpot: What inspired your new ROWLEY fitness line?

Cynthia Rowley: Living an energetic lifestyle and being fit is so much a part of my everyday life. Designing swim and wetsuits for a number of years, it was totally organic to segway into a fitness collection. I’m excited to be able to promote a healthy lifestyle for everyone!

CR: We received so much great feedback from Spring, so we decided to expand Fall 2015, which will carry approximately 35 pieces. The collection really captures a lot of personality and commitment to the category. It also shows our signature twist―tough and pretty. 

tFS: Do you foresee Cynthia Rowley workout accessories in your future? 

CR: Absolutely! We’re introducing an ultimate gym bag in for Fall 2015. It holds everything perfectly: yoga mat, water bottle, spin shoes, you name it. We also have sunglasses with the signature ROWLEY logo. Expect more to come!


Images: Courtesy Cynthia Rowley