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Narciso Rodriguez was born in New Jersey in 1961 to Cuban parents. He studied at Parsons School of Design in New York, and upon graduation worked for designers such as Anne Klein, TSE, and Calvin Klein. His parents were not overly happy that Narciso choose fashion as his career. They would have much rather seen him in something more serious such as architecture.
Whether on the runway or on the red carpet, designer Narciso Rodriguez is in demand. He began is designer career in 1985 as a design assistant for fashion legend Anne Klein. Narciso has a gift for fitting a dress so that it is flattering to the shape of the woman’s body. “It’s so fantastic,” Narciso says, “to create a frame for a woman’s personality and her true beauty.”
While working at Calvin Klein Narciso and Carolyn Bessette [later to become Carolyn Kennedy] became best friends. It was Carolyn Bessette Kennedy’s wedding dress design that brought Narciso front and center stage in the design world. Narciso’s wedding dress design for Carolyn was the buzz around the world. On September 21, 1996, Carolyn Bessette Kennedy stepped out of church on the arm of John F. Kennedy Jr. Women went gaga, literally drooling over Carolyn Bessette Kennedy’s wedding dress.
Carolyn’s wedding dress was made from pure white silk. This simple dress was combined dress elegance, classiness, and sexiness into one knockout package. Woman began to realize a wedding dress could in fact look sexy. This was a whole new concept, never heard of before. For years most women had landed up looking like an overstuffed pilsbury dough boy on their wedding day. Narciso had accomplished in Carolyn’s wedding gown what women thought to be impossible. She had been transformed into this bewitching sexy princess. That look was created by one of her best friends, Narciso Rodriguez. It was Carolyn’s wedding dress that made Narciso’s a household name.
Once word got out who had designed the dress, Narciso was in demand by every major designer in the world. A dream came true when Narciso joined the house of LMVH. The draw back to this career move was that Narciso spent his life living out of a suitcase with very little time to spend with family and friends which he valued and missed dearly.
Narciso pressed on encouraged by the idea that he had finally “made it.” However, working for a large company can often stifle ones own independent design ideas, and it wasn’t long before Narciso discovered he no longer loved his work.
The turning point in his life was when Carolyn Bessette Kennedy was was killed in a plane accident. Narciso had lost one of his dearest and best friends and for him this was a reality check and a wake up call.. Life without friends, family and the love of his work didn’t seem like such a great opportunity anymore. Narciso left LVMH and came home realizing what he needed was the freedom of his own design collection.
Narciso was able to focus on his own line of clothing creating the perfect look for woman. Rather than designing dresses for matchsticks, Narciso’s designs accentuated the curves and bustline of the woman, creating what was called a real woman design. Narciso Latin background came through in his designs with each having a hint of Latin flare. Narciso said Latino women had figures and were proud of that fact so they were perfect for where he wanted to go with his designs.
Narciso talents as a designer were so good, he was even able to make the petite woman look voluptuous. Sarah Jessica Parker, Sheryl Crow and Salma Hayek all wore exquisite gowns designed by Narciso. Not one of these celebs was 6 feet tall, yet the fit of these gowns was to die for.
In the spring of 1998 Narciso debuted his ready to wear signature collection in Milan. It made it into virtually every major fashion magazine. Rodriguez’s American experience and Latin roots, combined with his flair for European tradition of fine design, are all part of his great success. In 1997 Narciso won Best New Designer from the VH1 Fashion Awards, and was awarded Hispanic Designer of the Year. In 1998 he won the CFDA Perry Ellis Award, In the past these honors have gone to designers such as Oscar de la Renta and Carolina Herrera. In the past two years Rodriguez has been with the CFDA Awards: In both 2002 and 2003 he won the Womenswear Designer of the Year.
In a more recent issue of O Magazine Oprah Winfrey stands proudly wearing a golden dress designed by non other than Narciso. Now believe it or not this dress just isn’t gold in color, it is made of gold metal that has been pressed to make a dress fabric. The dress can be seein in O Magazine as well as at oprah.com.
Narciso is like a breath of fresh air when it comes to woman’s fashion. He designs for real woman. If you are interested in Narciso Rodrigues and his designs visit his web page at http://www.narcisorodriguez.com/narciso