The Chicago Tribune: Remarkable Woman: Cynthia Rowley

May 4th, 2012

The Chicago Tribune
By Wendy Donahue
May 4, 2012

Before Barrington native Cynthia Rowley earned fame as a fashion designer, she endured a phase of infamy at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago.

“I actually got booted out of my junior show — not that I’m still holding a grudge or anything,” Rowley said. (Citing a clash with faculty over the exuberant wings she attached to her junior-year designs, she said, “I was very strong-willed.”)

Rebounding her senior year, Rowley won the school’s fellowship award. Instead of flying to Italy for an internship with the money, as she had proposed, she rented a U-Haul and moved to New York with her senior collection.

Three decades later, her alma mater invited Rowley back, along with her husband Bill Powers, co-owner of Half Gallery and a judge on Bravo’s “Work of Art,” to accept the SAIC’s first dual Legend of Fashion honor at Millennium Park during this year’s “The Walk ” student fashion show and fundraiser.

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