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Narciso Rodríguez III
Replace this image male.svg
Born 27 January 1961
New Jersey
Nationality United States United States
Education The New School (Parsons division)
Labels Narciso Rodríguez
Awards CFDA best designer, 2004, 2005

Narciso Rodriguez III (born 27 January 1961) is an American fashion designer.

Rodriguez is the eldest child and only son of Cuban immigrants Narciso Rodríguez II, a longshoreman, and Rawedia María Rodríguez. He grew up in Newark, New Jersey.[1] His parents were against Narciso entering fashion: "They wanted me to be a doctor or a lawyer or a dentist. So when I dared to tell them, the s--- hit the fan. It was crazy. But no matter how many times I heard 'No,' I just kept going. I never thought about 'no'. 'No' wasn’t an option."[2] He received his formal education at the prestigious New School in New York, studying at their art and design college, Parsons the New School for Design. Following freelance work in New York’s garment industry, he joined Anne Klein as Women’s Design Director under Donna Karan. Later, he moved to Calvin Klein where he worked on the Women’s Collection. In 1997 he launched his own label. His first major attention came when he designed the instantly-famous wedding dress of fellow Calvin Klein employee Carolyn Bessette Kennedy for her wedding to John F. Kennedy, Jr..

In 2005, he became the first American to win the Council of Fashion Designers of America Womenswear Designer of the Year Award two years in a row. However, by 2006, Rodriguez, who had ended his partnership with his label's manufacturer, Aeffe, was over $1 million in debt to his suppliers, and needed fabric donations for his spring collection. The subsequent collection met with enthusiastic reviews and revived his fortune.[3] His clients include Salma Hayek, Claire Danes, Sarah Jessica Parker, Rachel Weisz, and Sonia Braga.

On May 5, 2007, Liz Claiborne acquired a 50% interest in the Narciso Rodriguez label. [4]

In 2003, Rodriguez introduced a women's perfume with Shiseido's Beauté Prestige International division called, "For Her". His men's fragrance, "For Him", launched in July 2007. A new fragrance will launch in early 2009.

On November 4, 2008, Michelle Obama wore a dress from Narciso Rodriguez's spring 2009 collection when she joined her husband, Barack Obama, appearing for the first time as president-elect of the United States, on the stage at Grant Park in Chicago; it was widely panned by the fashion press and public alike.[5] The dress, originally unveiled at New York City's Fashion Week in September 2008, came from Rodriguez's "stress-relief" design collection. Rodriguez was a strong supporter in the fashion world of Barack Obama's campaign; in August 2008, he blamed a slowdown in his business on "this Bush mess". [6]


  1. ^ White, Constance C. R. "A Phoenix Rises to Take His Influence Global", The New York Times, December 30, 1997. Accessed January 11, 2008.
  2. ^ "Narciso Rodríguez". Retrieved 2007-10-26.  
  3. ^ Horyn, Cathy; May 7, 2007; "Fashion Industry Rallies to Aid Designer in Trouble"; The New York Times; retrieved May 7, 2007.
  4. ^ May 5, 2007; "Narciso Rodriguez and Liz Claiborne Inc. Announce Partnership Agreement". Accessed June 29, 2008.
  5. ^ La Ferla, Ruth, "That Dress? Everyone Has an Opinion.", The New York Times, November 5, 2008. Accessed November 5, 2008.
  6. ^ WWD Staff, "Rodriguez Poolside... Moving On.", Women's Wear Daily, August 20, 2008. Accessed November 6, 2008.

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