How Narciso Rodriguez Became King of Understated Elegance

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Narciso Rodriguez is at the forefront of America’s new wave of legendary designers.

The award-winning designer has enchanted the nation with his effortlessly elegant apparel and sensual fragrances over the past few decades.

Actress Anna Kendrick in a black and white Narciso Rodriguez Pre-Fall 2015 silk georgette dress at the Actress Anna Kendrick in a black and white Narciso Rodriguez Pre-Fall 2015 silk georgette dress at the “Into The Woods” world premiere at the Ziegfeld Theater on December 8, 2014, in New York City (Credit: Debby Wong / Shutterstock)

A seamless blend of modern and classic, Narciso’s clothing exudes contemporary femininity. He continually proves that less is more with his clean lines, classic colors, and sumptuous fabrics.

In 2013, he married ad executive Thomas Tolan at the Gramercy Park Hotel in New York City. They share twins Callum and Ivy, whose mother’s identity is not known.

“Tom makes Sunday gravy, meatballs and the whole deal. He’s a good cook, too. So we’ll cook together, open a bottle of red wine, and if it’s nice, we’ll sit on the terrace and watch the sunset,” the designer told The New York Times about his husband in 2011.

Learn about how Narciso conquered the fashion world by highlighting the beauty of simplicity below!

The Road To Excellence

Narciso grew up a stone’s throw away from America’s fashion capital and his current headquarters, New York.

The son of Cuban immigrants in New Jersey, Narciso’s childhood was spent admiring the hardworking and glamorous women in his family as well as Old Hollywood starlets in black and white films.

Actress Julianna Margulies and designer Narciso Rodriguez attend the 2018 CFDA Fashion AwardsActress Julianna Margulies and designer Narciso Rodriguez attend the 2018 CFDA Fashion Awards at Brooklyn Museum on June 4, 2018, in New York City (Credit: Jennifer Graylock / Instarimages)

He cites Audrey Hepburn, Katharine Hepburn, Marlene Dietrich, Jackie Onassis, and Greta Garbo as his style icons.

These inspirations shine through his designs to this day; a sophisticated black and white palette can often be spotted on his runway.

Narciso began his journey at New York’s prestigious Parsons School of Design. He started working as a freelance designer before going on to work for Calvin Klein, Cerruti, and Loewe.

Michelle Obama wore a red-and-black sheath by Narciso Rodriguez when celebrating Barack Obama's winMichelle Obama wore a red-and-black sheath by Narciso Rodriguez when celebrating Barack Obama’s win on stage at Grant Park in Chicago on November 4, 2008 (Credit: Everett Collection / Shutterstock)

One of his greatest accomplishments, and what pushed his rise to fame, was designing Carolyn Bessette’s bias-cut wedding dress in 1996.

The silky design inspired a whole generation of minimalist brides and is now considered one of fashion’s most iconic wedding dresses.

Many experts believe that Meghan Markle’s second wedding dress was a modern-day tribute to Narciso’s classic design.

A Dedication to Joyful Femininity

Narciso launched his own label in 2001, almost a decade after working with fashion greats.

His eponymous label only brought him more success and stylish celebrity fans, including Sarah Jessica Parker, Jessica Alba, and Claire Danes.

Claire Danes had the honor of presenting Narciso Rodriguez with the Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2018 CFDA Fashion AwardsClaire Danes had the honor of presenting Narciso Rodriguez with the Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2018 CFDA Fashion Awards (Credit: Jennifer Graylock / Instarimages)

The designer would go on to be a favorite of First Lady Michelle Obama, who chose Narciso Rodriguez dresses for some of her husband’s most memorable speeches and celebrations.

Some of her noteworthy Narciso Rodriguez numbers include the vibrant marigold sheath dress from the last State of the Union speech, and the bold red and black dress from the Farewell Speech.

Jessica Simpson flaunts her boobs in a Narciso Rodriguez dress at the Jessica Simpson flaunts her boobs in a Narciso Rodriguez dress at the “The Dukes Of Hazzard” Los Angeles premiere held at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre on July 28, 2005 (Credit: Everett Collection / Shutterstock)

The designer believes that femininity is a blend of strength, confidence, intellect, grace, and beauty.

His timeless designs highlight this view; Narciso’s clothing and fragrances are guaranteed to make women feel happy and confident.

From Fashion Designer to Fragrance Curator

Narciso’s foray into the world of fragrances was inevitable.

As a designer dedicated to making women happy, creating exquisite fragrances to match his garments was the next logical step.

Popular Narciso Rodriguez perfumes on display at Dubai International AirportPopular Narciso Rodriguez perfumes on display at Dubai International Airport (Credit: Sorbis / Shutterstock)

His goal was to create a fragrance that would make a man’s head turn, and he has certainly accomplished this with his highly coveted range of perfumes.

His first fragrance, Narciso Rodriguez for Her, has become one of the world’s most popular scents since its 2003 launch by parent company Shiseido.

The Narciso Rodriguez for Her perfume was launched in 2003 and has won numerous awardsThe Narciso Rodriguez for Her perfume was launched in 2003 and has won numerous awards (Credit: Taffpixture / Shutterstock)

The designer was inspired by an Egyptian musk oil that he was gifted as a child. He added his own spin to the classic scent by adding notes of rose, gardenia, and amber to create a unique fragrance that falls into the floral, woody, and musk families.

Packaged in a delightfully minimalist cubed bottle, the eau de toilette-strength perfume perfectly captures the elegance of Narciso Rodriguez clothing.

The Narciso Rodriguez perfume family also includes the men’s counterpart for him, 2009’s Essence, and 2014’s Narciso, but for her remains the brand’s best seller.

Forever dedicated to excellent quality, Narciso Rodriguez perfumes are made in France.

How to Find Genuine Narciso Rodriguez Items

Narciso Rodriguez for Her is often imitated throughout the fragrance industry, but none come close to the real thing. Make sure your version is genuine by conducting a careful inspection.

The bottle is known for its simple design, featuring an opaque colored rectangle surrounded by glass.

A genuine Narciso Rodriguez for Her bottle will have a slightly imperfect inner rectangle; look out for a convex bottom line and side lines that gently taper towards the bottom.

Narciso Rodriguez with his husband Thomas Tolan at the premiere of Narciso Rodriguez with his husband Thomas Tolan at the premiere of “Noah” at the Ziegfeld Theatre on March 26, 2014, in New York City (Credit: Debby Wong / Shutterstock)

Counterfeits will often have a near-perfect rectangle. Also make sure that your bottle has a glossy finish rather than a matte one, and a monochromatic spray nozzle with a subtle ridge.

Where to Buy Narciso Rodriguez

Avoid disappointment by purchasing Narciso Rodriguez fragrances from trusted retailers, like major department and beauty stores, or the official Narciso Rodriguez website:

1. Narciso Rodriguez Official
2. Nordstrom
3. Sephora
4. Amazon

Scroll down to see celebrities wearing clothing and footwear by Narciso Rodriguez, an American fashion designer who studied fashion at the famous Parsons School of Design.

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