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New York-based designer Cynthia Rowley — one of Target’s first collaboration queens who showcased her newest collection during New York Fashion Week last Saturday — has released her latest digital vignette. But unlike other fashion-world cohorts who still believe that razor-sharp, “artsy” videos are the key to customers (and entertainment value, for that matter), the Chicago-born clothier (who has fans in stylist June Ambrose and Emmy Rossum) decided to go the witty and relatable route, just like her clothes.
Aptly titled Big Hugs, the under-two-minute short stars ex-model and socialite-favored interior designer Athena Calderone and sometime actress/downtown creative class doyenne Hailey Gates as they traipse through Manhattan giving each other, uh, big hugs — all while wearing Rowley’s adorably prim, ladylike wares, natch.
But there’s a catch: You know that feeling when you walk into a party and a stranger waves at you and you wave back before realizing that they were actually waving at the person behind you, forcing you to look away, twirl your hair and pretend (or wish to everything holy) that both you and they didn’t exist? Yeah, Calderone and Gates’ hugs are like that — but with Bravo’s Andy Cohen, designer-actor Waris Ahluwalia and New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg thrown into the mix. Rowley, who is married to Manhattan art gallerist and former Bravo Work of Art host Bill Powers, also makes a brief cameo.
To round out the brand’s viral video sundae with a social media cherry on top, viewers are directed to @cynthia_rowley, the designer’s Instagram account featuring model casting shots, Rowley ringing in NASDAQ’s trading day and even snaps of Richard Simmons.
All perfectly part of the CFDA member’s utterly darling, real-person-who-happens-to-be-someone persona.
Watch the video, below, and follow the THR Style team on Instagram, stat.
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Tracee Ellis Ross