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These jackets can be paired with a basic white V-neck T-shirt and work for daytime or evening. It’s the perfect blend of indifference and fashion know-how.

Esteemed fashion designer Cynthia Rowley may have her hands full (projects include a children’s collection and curating favorite products for shopping site OpenSky.com). But that hasn’t slowed her down one bit. Just ask her husband.

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Cynthia Rowley
Eric McNatt/Contour by Getty Images
Cynthia Rowley is not one to sit still. There’s always something brewing in her world, which encompasses everything from contemporary art to surfing to, of course, fashion galore. So it’s no surprise that the Chicago native is changing things up slightly with her latest foray — a capsule menswear collection called Mr. Powers. Pieces from the line include mod, nubby-tweed Chesterfield jackets with velvet lapels; preppy-with-a-twist striped cardigans in off-kilter colors; beat-up patterned tees; and cashmere cable-knit sweaters, all priced from a fairly affordable $95 to an (ouch!) $595. American Way asked the mother of two about her entry into the boys’ club.

American Way: Who or what inspired you to design this collection?
Cynthia Rowley: I’ve unofficially designed a handful of menswear items for years. I always had eager customers in the form of my husband, Bill Powers, and a bunch of our art-world friends. As Mr. Powers himself got more and more attention as a style influencer, especially via his Bravo TV show Work of Art, I got more inquiries as to why I didn’t design a menswear collection, so the development of this brand was a little bit supply-and-demand.
 
AW: What input (if any) did the real Mr. Powers have?
CR: The real Mr. Powers has very discerning taste. No matter what I think, he can’t be talked into much. By the time he weighs in, though, we’re probably already in production.


"This collection is really about pairing personal favorites with essential classics. Every guy I know has a favorite pair of jeans and sneakers that go ‘with anything,’ so why not give him a selection of pieces to layer on top creatively?"

AW: The collection seems to have retro styling and color choices; some of it is a little bit cowboy and a little bit college professor.
CR: That’s funny: a little bit cowboy and a little bit college professor. I’ll take that as a compliment.

AW: I’m loving that marbleized tee . Is that based on a piece of art?
CR: The marbleized motif was actually inspired by the endpapers of a classic novel — back to that college professor, I guess?

AW: Are men’s shoes perhaps in the future?
CR: It would be a dream … especially as shoes have become such a cornerstone of a man’s individual style.
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Justin Theroux
Jason Kempin/getty images

AW: Is there a significance to the roosters on the belt? 
CR: Umm …

Men of Style Improve your fashion sense by taking a cue from one (or all) of these gentlemen, who, in Cynthia Rowley’s opinion, are shining examples of today’s modern stylish man.

Andy Spade “He’s so Holden Caulfield discovers Bespoke.” James Frey “The only man I know who can pull off a navy mink jacket.” Justin Theroux “Creative facial hair gets me every time.” Rowley’s Dad “His clashing plaid duds and year-round hoodie trump even the most committed Williamsburg hipster.” And, of course, Bill. “Enough said.”