One of the most renowned American fashion designers of the 21st century, Narciso Rodriguez is renowned for his unique aesthetic of timeless elegance and purity. With a creative vision that transcends the boundaries of fashion and fragrance, his work has always been inspired by women – their beauty, their strength and their grace. He remains unerringly true to the singular philosophy that has always guided his creative process, and his iconic fragrances have become the coveted signature of men and women all around the world.e world.
“my ultimate goal as a designer is to celebrate a woman’s beauty and the personality within.”
Born and raised in Newark, New Jersey, to first-generation Cuban immigrants, Narciso Rodriguez's Latin heritage has always informed the ethos of his work, with its celebration of a strong feminine spirit and appreciation of the inherent beauty of the female body.
Rodriguez studied at Parson’s School of Design in New York, before joining Anne Klein under Donna Karan, and subsequently moving to Calvin Klein. In 1995, Rodriguez became Design Director of TSE, and was simultaneously appointed Design Director of Cerruti in Paris.
Rodriguez's architectural precision and remarkable ability to exalt the female form garnered immense industry acclaim and in 1997, the Narciso Rodriguez label was launched and presented its first ready-to-wear collection for women in Milan. That same year, Loewe appointed Rodriguez as Design Director of the women’s ready-to-wear collection, a position he held until 2001, when he established his own atelier for his eponymous label in New York.
Recognition for his work was immediate. In 2002 and 2003, Rodriguez became the first designer ever to receive consecutive Womenswear Designer of the Year awards by the Council of Fashion Designers of America, and in 2018 the CFDA honored Rodriguez with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
The virtuosity of Narciso Rodriguez's work has also been recognized by the many influential women who have chosen to wear his designs. Rodriguez designed the bias-cut sheath wedding dress worn by Carolyn Bessette when she married John F. Kennedy Jr. in 1996. Michelle Obama has worn Narciso Rodriguez at numerous events, including the celebration of her husband's victory as President of The United States. Sarah Jessica Parker, Claire Danes, Julianna Margulies, Jessica Alba and Rachel Weisz are among the many actresses Narciso Rodriguez has dressed for the red carpet.
The story of narciso rodriguez fragrances all started with musc. In his youth, Rodriguez had been given a vial of rare Egyptian musc oil which had become his personal signature – an olfactory autograph, worn like a talisman. He became fascinated by the unique expressive power of musc, and its remarkable ability to reflect and reveal the nature of whoever wears it. This powerful and intimate connection with musc meant that when the designer came to create his own fragrance, musc had to be at its heart.
This intuition about musc inspired a revolution in modern fragrance. Rodriguez shared a vial of his rare musc oil with two renowned perfumers – Christine Nagel and Francis Kurkdijan – and this precious musc became the foundation of for her eau de toilette, a fragrance that would for the first time translate the designer's signature aesthetic of timeless elegance into scent.
A true olfactory work of art, for her achieved cult status almost as soon as it launched. The fragrance received the FiFi Award for Best New Fragrance in 2003, and in the following two decades, a host of prestigious awards and accolades have recognized both the significance of its contribution to perfumery, and its status as a 21st century classic.
The iconic portrait of Carmen Kass, the original muse of for her, played a huge role in the phenomenal success of the fragrance. Captured by legendary duo Inez and Vinoodh, the portrait of Carmen transcended fashion and fragrance to become an enduring symbol of the house of Narciso Rodriguez. Embodying an eternal femininity and a quiet yet powerful grace, this singular, unforgettable image will endure as one of the most iconic images in fragrance history.
The creation of for her eau de toilette formed the seed from which an entire collection would develop, each fragrance exploring a different facet of the designer's signature heart of musc. The NARCISO collection and the for him collection followed, each sharing Narciso Rodriguez's distinctive aesthetic, characterized by clean lines, exquisite balance, and an intrinsic sense of modernity.
2023 marks the 20th anniversary of narciso rodriguez parfums and the beginning of the next chapter for the designer with the launch of all of me, a bold new fragrance that is a testament to the power of his vision and its remarkable ability to evolve and renew.