A Passion for Fashion
Local Newport Beach Designer Finds Her Personal Peace After a Long Struggle
Newport Beach, Calif. - Born in Los Angeles, Cynthia Holvey was always a shining star among her powerful and affluent family. A relative of George Clooney and the late-Rosemary Clooney, her family lines were filled with creative minds - Cynthia was no different. However, like many Hollywood families, her story would be one of great highs, terrible lows and a chance for redemption.
At age 12, Holvey moved to Long Beach to attend high school. After graduation, she attended classes at UCLA and graduated from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising.
From an early age, Holvey always had an interest in fashion. She was obsessed with shopping and reading fashion magazines. Holvey attributes her passion for design to her mother. "My mom was always the pinnacle of high-fashion. She has an incredible eye for great style," Holvey says.
When Holvey turned 16, she landed her first job at a high-end Long Beach boutique. "I loved it! The energy was amazing, " Holvey says.
In the early eighties she began working at Charles Jourdan, which, at the time, was one of the hippest boutiques in Beverly Hills catering to A-list celebrities. Holvey's first big break into mainstream fashion came in 1982 when she began working with Joan and David shoes.
Then, in 1989, she was hand-selected by Allen Schwartz as the lead accessories buyer and celebrity stylist for ABS Clothing Company. "This was my dream job. I was wardrobing celebrities, traveling and completely immersed in the fashion industry," Holvey says.
But Holvey had a deep secret - she was immersed in a dark world of her own. In response to the on-set of frequent migraines, Holvey became addicted to painkillers. "I was in the scene. I had a successful career that exposed me to endless A-list parties, booze and a lot of drugs."
The painkillers were just the beginning of Holvey's downward spiral. Addicted to drugs, Holvey could no longer juggle her secret life and career. "To much disappointment to Allen (Schwartz), I resigned from ABS. I just couldn't handle it all," Holvey says.
With her creative outlet now gone, Holvey was on a path of mass destruction.
One rainy morning, Holvey would awake to a day that would forever change her life. It was January 1995. The secret life that Holvey was living...wasn't so secret. Those close to her noticed their now frail and strung-out friend was totally self-destructing. At a last-ditch effort to save their daughter, Holvey's parents staged a formal intervention. This would be the beginning of the end to her dark days.
After a year rehab stint, Holvey re-emerged a new woman. She channeled her creative energy, love for fashion and personal strength to create Cynthia H Designs - a line of leather handbags, belts and cuffs.
In celebration of her 10th year sober, Holvey created a line of powerful message bracelets inspired by phrases she learned in her spiritual awakening. Now two years later, these bracelets are more than just an ordinary fashion accessory, for Holvey they are symbolic of her personal redemption and a tribute to the rehabilitation that saved her life.