|DALLAS, Mar 1, 2001 (Updated Sep 2, 2009) / FW/ — Born in New Jersey (1961) to Cuban parents, Narciso Rodriguez wanted to be an architect but moved to fashion illustration. While he was still in high school, he took commercial art classes on the side, learning about shape and form.
His college years were spent at Parsons School of Design where he also made the acquaintance of Donna Karan. He was still at Parsons when he started working at Anne Klein, and learned from Donna Karan that a designer should “design from hair to toe.”
Narciso Rodriguez then moved to Calvin Klein, and soon after that, he was snapped by Cerruti. In 1997, Madrid-based luxury leather goods designer Loewe asked him to join the company. The latest feather in Rodriguez’s cap – AEFFE (Italy) had agreed to produce Narciso Rodriguez’s own label.
It was in 1996 when Narciso Rodriguez gained worldwide celebrity status when he designed the wedding dress of Carolyn Bessette (whom he met while working at Calvin Klein), when she married John Kennedy Jr.
In 1997, the U.S. Hispanic Society gave him the “Designer of the Year Award” and in 1998, the Perry Ellis Award from CFDA. Since then, he has won two CDFA Womenswear Designer of the Year Award, in 2002 and 2003, the first designer ever to win the prestigious award back to back.
So, what are Narciso Rodriguez design secrets?
In an interview by Elle Magazine, Narciso Rodriguez quoted, “”I create a frame for a woman’s personality, one that celebrates her beauty.”
This design philosophy shows in his creations. His clothes are understated and comfortable. It is neithermodern or classic. It fits the woman’s body and personality; ease of wear is given a lot of thought, keeping its elegance. In its minimalism, the dress flatters the woman wearing it, adding to her beauty because she feels at ease with herself.
Add to that skilled tailoring and a keen attention to details, you have Narciso Rodriguez.
Narciso Rodriguez left Loewe in 2001 to put up his own label. When he left Loewe, the designer said, “Loewe is a great brand and the opportunity that I was given to work at this level of quality and craftsmanship, has an incredible value for me. It has been a pleasure to see Loewe grow and to be part of this growth.”
In 2008, Americans were once again reminded of Narciso Rodriguez’s designing prowess when Michelle Obama chose to wear one of his creations on the historic election night when the U.S. first voted for an African-American for President.
Narciso Rodriguez’s style is American with a European influence and Latin at heart pulling inspiration from architectural design, haute couture and his Cuban heritage.
He has received international recognition for his role in the fashion community including being named one of the “25 Most Influential Hispanics in America” by Time Magazine and three CFDA awards. In 2009, during the Spring 2010 New York season, Narciso was named Mercedes-Benz Presents designer.
For more information, please visit www.narcisorodriguez.com.