South O’ the Highway

Cynthia Rowley Creates SpongeBob SquarePants Birthday Wetsuit

The Montauk designer dazzles the runway, and the yellow sponge turns 20.

Queen of pretty-meets-sporty fashion Cynthia Rowley shone bright at New York Fashion Week on February 12 with a collaboration that no one was expecting. The Montauk surfer took to the London Terrace Towers to showcase her latest collection, featuring flowing silk dresses, stylish puffer coats and the CR x SpongeBob SquarePants Wetsuit, created in celebration of the yellow sponge’s upcoming 20th birthday celebration “Best Year Ever.”

Rowley had long sworn off runway shows, which makes this show all the more surprising and exciting. In addition to the gorgeous ready-to-wear looks she showcased on the runway, the surf-loving designer took her models to the pool to showcase her latest wetsuits in their natural element. “Even when I’m the most dressed up, I secretly wish I was in a wetsuit at the beach,” she said at the show.

Rowley told The Daily Front Row that using the London Terrace pool for the fashion show was most likely a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, “They don’t really do stuff like this! And probably never will again!” The location is considered a secret oasis that she remembers visiting many years ago, and she thought the water would provide a fresh take on the traditional runway show. She continued, “Since runway is so traditional, and we are asking people to come to a location, it should be amazing as well. I wanted people to get in on the secret.”

Rowley’s love of the sea continues to influence her design and show choices, so it makes perfect sense that she would help celebrate the beloved undersea sponge. The wetsuit designed for the celebration, priced at $295, perfectly blends her spirit of adventure and sport with the endless positivity of SpongeBob SquarePants. Yet, it’s just one aspect of Nickelodeon’s plans to commemorate 20 years of the show’s success, as well as its late creator Stephen Hillenburg. The “Best Year Ever” officially kicks of on July 12 with the premiere of the mixed live action/animated special “SpongeBob’s Big Birthday Blowout.”

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