Friday, February 24th
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"Fashion is moving in so many different directions now; I want clean, pure, sexy and solid again."
Rodriguez is a successful Cuban-American designer. He gained his first glimpse of fame by dressing his friend the stunningly stylish late Carolyn Bessette for her wedding to John F. Kennedy Jr. That dress, designed in 1996, predates Rodriguez first collection which was launched in 1998.
Rodriguez was the first American to win the Womenswear Designer of the Year award from the CFDA two years in a row. Critically aclaimed, Rodriguez's career has weathered some difficult financial times. In 2006, after dispubles with his manufacturer, Rodriguez ended the relationship with over $1 million in debt. After requesting and receiving fabric donations to launch his next collection, Rodriguez was back on track with rave reviews, a reversal of fortue, and celebrity clients that included Salma Hayek, Claire Danes, Sarah Jessica Parker, Rachel Weisz, and Sonia Braga.
In early Fall 2008, Rodriguez ended an 18-month relationship with Liz Claborne Inc. that resulted in Narcisco Rodriguez becoming once again sole owner of his eponymous label including its losses of approximately $15 million last in 2007. Blaming his label's recent financial troubles partly on "this Bush mesh" (and partly on strategic differences with Liz Claiborne, Inc.), Rodriguez was a strong supporter of Barack Obama. His Spring 2009 line was one of the best received at New York Fashion Week, and these two facts combined resulted in Michelle Obama selecting a star from that collection as the dress she would wear in her first historic appearance with her husband as First Lady and President-elect. A feature of much controversy, the dress has undoubtedly raised the public's awareness of Narcisco Rodriguez.
The eldest child and only son of Cuban immigrants, Narcisco Rodriguez has overcome parental disapproval, financial difficulties, and business differences of opinion in the development of his line and pusuit of his passion. He's definitely someone that thrives on challenges. Choosing 'Stress Relief' as the title of his last collection, which included the First Lady-elect's red and black dress, may indicate a desire for easier times. We hope that he produces as beautifully with less pressure.