Celebrity fashion designer Cynthia Rowley was the guest of honor recently at a party hosted by Chicago-area fine furniture retailer Walter E. Smithe. Walt Smithe, shown here, was a moderator for a Q & A session between Rowley and her fans. Photo by Melissa M. Ryan.
The mood was happy with anticipation in the sun-splashed showroom at the Walter E. Smithe Furniture Store in Chicago’s urbane Clybourn Ave. neighborhood. The guest of honor was fashion icon Cynthia Rowley. Looking like a prima ballerina, she was as excited as her throngs of fans.
Scores of delighted guests gather at a party to unveil the new Cynthia Rowley for Hooker Furniture Collection, with Cynthia Rowley herself as the guest of honor. Photo: Melissa M. Ryan.
Fashion + furniture merge beautifully in the Fleur de Glee desk, designed by fashion icon Cynthia Rowley using a floral pattern that’s prominent in her clothing line.
“I’ve always wanted to design home furnishings; they’re how you bring your sense of style to the way you live every day,” Rowley said. “When I got together with Hooker Furniture, it was really a miracle moment!”
Cynthia Rowley’s luxurious, witty pieces for the venerable Hooker Furniture included this bed, upholstered in an antique-rose animal stripe with a subtle metallic effect. Photo: Melissa M. Ryan.
“I’m adventurous myself, but I really wanted to make sure the pieces would reflect my standards as well as my style. I just have to say Hooker Furniture made all my furniture designing dreams come true.”
The Cornelia upholstered bed featuring an antique-rose animal stripe, has an organic, marbleized look. Photo: Cynthia Rowley for Hooker Furniture.
“I really am passionate about inspiring people to live with delight in their homes,” Rowley said. “There’s no reason today why the fashion trends and colors we love can’t be immediately translated into home furnishings, so they can surround and delight us all the time.”
Cynthia Rowley sits on the Wallis Sofa in the Walter E. Smithe showroom reception. The entire sofa is shown at right. Photo: Hooker Furniture
“My work with Hooker Furniture does that, and since it’s my first furniture design collection ever, I wanted to make sure I worked with a company that has a long history of creating designer-quality pieces. So now you can see a dress at my store and see the same trends and colors here at a furniture store like Walter E. Smithe.”
A vibrant cross-section of Chicago’s chic residents queued up in style to meet celebrity fashion designer Cynthia Rowley, who introduced her first-ever furniture collection for Hooker Furniture at the Walter E. Smith store in Chicago. Photo: Melissa M. Ryan
Walt Smithe Jr., third-generation leader of one of the Midwest’s most elegant and reputable furniture retailers, moderated the presentation with Cynthia and her fans. He told guests that “Cynthia’s work for Hooker Furniture brings an exciting, fresh perspective to a company that’s always been known for quality.”
One of celebrity designer Cynthia Rowley’s new pieces for Hooker Furniture on display at Walter E. Smithe’s party, this black floral chair shows off her adventurous, artful spirit. The print coordinates with a black floral desk as well as an array of sumptuously colored upholstered pieces. Photo: Melissa M. Ryan.
The Mimi wing chair is pretty, poised and proudly feminine. The pattern on the chair is the same as the pattern on the Fleur de Glee desk, both designed by Cynthia Rowley. Photo: Hooker Furniture
Cynthia Rowley talks with a group of young women at Walter E. Smithe. Photo: Melissa M. Ryan.
The vivacious Rowley was clearly in her element, connecting warmly with her fans. But she’s also very meticulous about details when it comes to her work. “I’ve designed everything from band-aids to wetsuits; things I use myself,” she said. “I don’t have a precious attitude about fashion, but I do apply the creative elements of fashion to everything I design, whether it’s a dress or now, a bed and or a table.”
The Longboard table designed by Cynthia Rowley is shown in the Walter E. Smith showroom. Photo: Melissa M. Ryan.
The Long Board Dining Table has a mod and minimalist feel and showcases the natural wood grains of Mappa Burl Veneers. Photo: Hooker Furniture.
“It’s important to have things around you that are visually complex and pleasing to your eye. I bring a lot of inspirations from my life to my designs, and I think you can see that in my Hooker Furniture collection.
“It’s brave and happy!”
Cynthia Rowley’s Antoinette Gilded Upholstered Bed in the Walter E. Smithe furniture showroom. Photo: Melissa M. Ryan