Rodriguez, Narciso

Narciso Rodriguez, designer of the First Ladies

Narciso Rodriguez (1961) is a Cuban fashion designer. He lives and works in exile in New Jersey. He designed the wedding dress for Carolyne Bessett who married John F. Kennedy in 1996. He studied at the Parson’s School in New York.

Carolyne Bessett and John F. Kennedy on their wedding day
Carolyne Bessett and John F. Kennedy on their wedding day

The beginnings as an apprentice

He served his apprenticeship at Anne Klein, during the years when Donna Karan and Calvin Klein were working there. The designer arrived in Europe in 1995, called by Nino Cerruti who entrusted him with the artistic direction of his collections. He dressed Sigourney Weaver for the Oscar ceremony.

In 1997, the Italian textile group Aeffe asked him to design its ready-to-wear fashion line. It was a great success. But he accepted the invitation of the Spanish fashion house Loewe and, under this banner, paraded in Paris in March ’98.

Narciso Rodriguez Perfumes

His first fragrance called “for her” in 2003. Undoubtedly the fragrance received the British FiFi Award for the best new fragrance that year. Similarly, Narciso also won the Fragrance of the Year/Women’s Noveau Niche award in 2004.

for her
for her

Narciso Rodriguez and Michelle Obama

He won in New York, for the second time in a row, the best women’s designer award organized by the Council of Fashion Designers, which makes a selection from more than 450 designers. In 2008 Michelle Obama wore a Narciso Rodriguez dress for her first official appearance as America’s first lady.

Michelle Obama wears Narciso Rodriguez
Michelle Obama wears Narciso Rodriguez

The first lady wore Narciso Rodriguez again for the president’s first State of the Union address in 2009. She soon chose Rodriguez’s design again for her last State of the Union address in the year 2016.

The 1910s: successes

In 2010, the designer won the title of Mercedes-Benz Presents designer. Rodriguez was among the 2010 cultural leaders selected by USA Network and Vanity Fair magazine. later 2012, the designer was honored by El Museo del Bario as one of the five most influential Latinos in America and received the award for excellence in the arts.

In the year 2014, Narciso collaborated with New York choreographer Stephen Petronio. He designed Stephen’s 30th anniversary season, designing costumes for a new dance, Locomotor. A few years later, he forged the costumes for Petronio’s Locomotor/Non-Locomotor.

for her perfume
for her perfume

The year 2015 ended with a turnover that exceeded 50 million euros with a growth of 16% compared to 2014. As for the fragrance line, sales of “for her” in 2017 grew by 21.4% and the fragrance is by far the number one in the Italian market and at the top in many other countries. Moreover, the success of pinnacle in the field of perfumes came in 2021 when he and Giorgio Armani were awarded a prize by the Academy of Perfume.

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