Tiny Atlas Quarterly’s Jill Lindenbaum catches up with Cynthia Rowley to talk about all water.
TINY ATLAS QUARTERLY: If you could close your eyes and be at any beach right now, where are you?
CYNTHIA ROWLEY: I live for the beach, especially if there’s a wave. From Montauk to Morocco to Mauritius, I’ve visited so many beauties but there’s still so many more that I want to see: Goa, remote spots in Indonesia, and Honolulu—we’re opening a store there which makes for a good excuse for a beach visit!
TAQ: What’s a neighborhood spot that makes you feel like you’re at the beach?
CR: A NYC surf shop called Saturdays Surf.
TAQ: What waterfront destination featured in a film lured you to that place?
CR: The Talented Mr. Ripley inspired me to sail the Mediterranean on a giant sailboat (with a happier ending).
TAQ: What’s your favorite cliffside vista from a beach?
CR: The cliffs in the Dingle Peninsula in Ireland are unbelievable.
TAQ: What trip are your kids asking to go on?
CR: Costa Rica and Tobago—good surf and lots of friends.
TAQ: Where did you teach your girls to surf?
CR: My husband started teaching my oldest daughter and ended up with five stitches in his
head, so luckily we travel to a lot of great surf spots and they’ve just picked it up along the way.
TAQ: When is your ideal time of day on the water?
CR: I’ve never been one for dawn patrol, but any other time of day is perfect.
TAQ: Where is your favorite place to be underwater?
CR: My best and scariest scuba diving trips have been in Mexico and Australia.
TAQ: A beachside cocktail that always does the trick?
CR: An ice cold local beer.
TAQ: What beachside city and its fashion inspire you?
CR: I spend a lot of time in Japan and try to get away to the beach if possible. It’s called
TAQ: Besides NY, is there anywhere else you would like to live?
CR: If I didn’t live in New York, I would go completely off the grid.
TAQ: Do your travels directly influence your collections?
CR: They never directly influence, but just being out of the studio on a big adventure frees my mind and I go back refreshed and ready for action.
TAQ: Do you plan field research beach trips?
CR: Between big adventures, we like to take a lot of small trips. Even on a long weekend we’ve
gone to the Redwood Forest (nearby Bolinas is a great beach) or Charleston, SC, a great city with a great beach as well. I always take a new rashguard, swim, or wetsuit to test run.
TAQ: If you could hold your next show at a beach, where would it be?
CR: Zanzibar. It would be so easy to cast local beautiful women.
TAQ: Who is your dream girl in your wetsuits?
CR: I’ve seen Julia Roberts in our wetsuits and that’s amazing, but I get super psyched when I see a bunch of girls in Montauk wearing the suits in the water.
TAQ: Favorite beach to wake up in, hotel or home?
CR: If you’re traveling on a boat it’s magical to go to sleep in one place and wake up in another.