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Designer spotlight – Narciso Rodriguez

Of Cuban ancestry, Narciso Rodriguez was born to immigrant parents in New York City. Wishing to attend Parson’s School of Design in order to pursue a career in fashion design, Rodriguez made a wrenching decision to continue in spite of his parents objections that he should pursue a career in medicine or in law.

Narciso Rodriguez - Ashley Olsen

Narciso Rodriguez in fashion

Gauging by his success in recent years, Narciso made the correct decision. Upon graduation Rodriguez was employed at Donna Karan and Calvin Klein successively, but most of his recognition came from his work at Cerruti in Paris as Design director.

In that position, he oversaw the design of the wedding dress for John F. Kennedy, Jr.’s bride-to-be, Carolyn Bessette. Soon after, he began to market his own designs.

Rodriguez’s focus has been on women’s wear, and he is seen as embodying the younger breed of designers’ focus on elegance and excellent craftsmanship and design. He also created a line of fragrances for both men and women. You can check out the latest from Rodriguez at

Eva Mendes - Narciso Rodriguez

Narciso Rodriguez’s success

Rodriguez’s young brand rose strikingly fast to international prominence. The designer’s first collection was displayed in a Milan fashion show in the summer of 1998, with the partnership of Aeffe. For the collection Rodriguez was awarded VH1’s “Best New Designer,” in addition to being given the “Perry Ellis Award” by the Council of Fashion Designers of America also for best new designer.

The designer again surprised the international fashion scene when he became the first designer to win the much-sought-after “Designer of the Year Award” in two consecutive years, 2002 and 2003.

Financial trouble

Not without his own speed-bumps in life, Rodriguez ran into a debt of $1 million in 2006 upon a disagreement with his financial sponsors, yet he was quick to bounce back thanks to the success of his Spring 2007 line made with donated fabric. Celebrities that have sported his designs include Salma Hayek, Sonia Borgia, Rachel Weisz, Julianna Margulies, Clare Danes, Eva Mendes, Ashley Olsen and many others.

Narciso Rodriguez style

His designs are sleek, modern, understated and feminine without being frilly. You can shop for Narciso Rodriguez apparel at Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue, Barneys New York and boutiques around the country. Check out his fall collection in this video.

Fall fashion

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