Designers

Fashion Biography

Narciso Rodriguez, Fashion Designer

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Born in New Jersey of Cuban American parents, Narciso Rodriguez received his formal education at the prestigious Parson"s School of Design in New York. Following freelance work in New York"s garment industry, he joined Anne Klein as Women"s Design Director under Donna Karan. Later, Narciso moved to Calvin Klein where he worked on the Women"s Collection.

In 1995, Rodriguez became Design Director of TSE where he presented ready to wear collections for men and women in New York. Simultaneously, Rodriguez was appointed Design Director of Cerruti in Paris. It was at Cerruti that Narciso received international acclaim when he designed the bias cut sheath
wedding dress that his friend Carolyn Bessette wore when she married John Kennedy, Jr.

In October 1997, the first women"s ready to wear collection under the Narciso Rodriguez label, in partnership with Italian manufacturer AEFFE, was presented in Milan for the Spring/Summer 1998 season. Following the presentation, Rodriguez was awarded Best New Designer "at the Vogue/VH1 Fashion Awards in New York and the Perry Ellis Award "for Best New Designer by the Council of Fashion Designers of America. The same year, Loewe appointed Rodriguez Design Director of the women"s ready to wear collection, a position he held until 2001.

Rodriguez returned to New York where he established his atelier and presented his Fall/Winter ready to wear collection in 2001. Consequently, he became the first designer in history to receive the Womenswear Designer of the Year award by the Council of Fashion Designers of America consecutively in 2002 and
2003.

Following a license agreement with Beaute Prestige International in Paris, Rodriguez"s fragrance, for her, was launched in 2003. for her received the British FiFi Award for Best New Fragrance in 2003 and the Fragrance of the Year/Women"s Noveau Niche award in 2004. Narciso Rodriguez"s men"s fragrance, for him, was launched in 2007 and received the 2008 Grand Prix du Parfum Award for Best Masculine
Fragrance and Best Design. A third fragrance, essence Narciso Rodriguez, was launched in March of 2009.

The arts have also figured prominently in Narciso Rodriguez"s life and work. The designer has collaborated in several films and television projects, among them, The Family Stone in 2005, The Fountain in 2006, Bee Movie in 2007, the 2008 remake of the The Women, as well as Sex and the City.
Rodriguez has maintained longstanding personal relationships with many actresses, including Sarah Jessica Parker, Claire Danes, Julianna Margulies, and Rachel Weisz. More recently, Rodriguez established a relationship with internationally celebrated choreographer Christopher Wheeldon, founder/director of Morphoses; he designed costumes for Morphoses" American and British premieres in
2008. The designer"s work has also been featured in several museum exhibitions including MoCA"s Skin and Bones "in Los Angeles and Cooper Hewitt"s Design Triennial Exhibition, both in 2006.

A designer who has redefined American style in the last two decades, Narciso Rodriguez plays a singular role in the modern global fashion world and has been the recipient of many honors. In 2005, Time Magazine honored Rodriguez by naming him one of the 25 Most Influential Hispanics in America "while two years later, he received the Fashion Icon Award from Pratt Institute. The designer became the
first recipient of the Special Achievement in Fashion ALMA Award in 2008. In the fall of 2008, the book Narciso Rodriguez was published by Rizzoli International to much critical acclaim.

In 2007, Rodriguez formed a new partnership with Liz Claiborne Inc., which ended amicably in 2008. On November 4, 2008 (election night), Narciso Rodriguez became part of American history when First Lady Michelle Obama chose to wear a dress from the designer"s Spring 2009 collection to celebrate President Barack Obama"s triumphant victory. The First Lady has continued to wear the designer"s clothing regularly.

In 2009, Rodriguez, a three time CFDA award winner, was been nominated for a fourth time as Womenswear Designer of the Year. Most recently, Rodriguez has been honored with the USA Network 2010 Character Approved award. Today he continues to evolve and to expand his business.

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By Courtney Lynne
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