Event Designer & Producer
For more than two decades, celebrated event designer and producer Colin Cowie has created some of the most talked about parties and events around the world. With clients like Oprah Winfrey, Jerry Seinfeld, Ryan Seacrest, heads of state and foreign dignitaries, Cowie provides luxury experiences for the most celebrated people. He has designed and produced every conceivable type of celebration—from cocktail receptions to product launches to royal weddings. Having spanned the globe multiple times, he has traveled 13 million miles in search of the finest and most authentic experiences for his clients. A regular contributor on the Today show, Cowie provides expertise on event planning and lifestyle advice. He is also the author of 10 books on lifestyle and entertaining.
I like to live my best life possible. I am a curious soul who strives to get 70 seconds out of every minute. There is so much to do still, and despite a blessed story I feel like I am just getting started with so many exciting, fun and new projects ahead of me. I am always on the hunt for adventure, and I approach every endeavor with creativity and enthusiasm.
I emigrated here from South Africa at age 23, with an omnipresent tan, a well-cut suit, big dreams and $400 in my pocket. I started a small catering company and a client was the president of Playboy. Within three years of arriving I designed, planned and produced the most famous bachelor’s wedding…Hugh Hefner. The rest is history.
The saddest thing I am witnessing in our industry is planners cost-cutting and price slashing to get a job. This is a race to the bottom of the hill. It is very difficult to compete with a planner who has NO overhead, an office of one working out of a hotel lobby compared to professionals who have a full staff of people to create amazing events. Our industry needs to be regulated.
A well-informed client is a happy client. Give them a plan and a timeline— and stick to it. Make sure they have confidence in all that you do.
We motivate our team by example and by creating a rich culture that everyone buys into.
Do whatever it takes to set yourself apart from others. We work in a very crowded, no barrier to entry space that is flooded with non qualified people who have fancy websites and pretty pictures. Present the authentic side of yourself in order to stand out in the crowd.
To be the best version of myself and to present the best version of myself in all that I do, personally and professionally.
Making it to 2019 and achieving most goals I set my eyes on. I feel like I am just beginning with a whole new chapter ahead of me.
Without a doubt when the market crashed in 2008; I was caught in the perfect storm. I navigated my way through and I learned lessons that will serve me a lifetime.
In a crowded world, great style comes from ruthless editing.
Favorite role models are Nelson Mandela and Oprah Winfrey.
To present the best version of myself.
Gratitude and humility in equal doses.
To be the best version of myself.
Find balance in all you do [I drink water during the day so I can drink cocktails at night].
A Day in My Life:
What do you love most about Your City?
It’s a good city to leave…and the best city to come home to. I have a very passionate love affair with NYC.
Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?
Cacio Pepe pasta for brunch at Morandi on a Sunday
What are you doing at:
6:00 AM – waiting for my alarm to go off
10:00 AM – arriving at the office
12:00 PM – Favorite Lunch spot/meal? – something healthy, usually at my desk
7:00 PM – cocktails for sure
11:00 PM – night cap!
What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)?
Water when the sun is up…vodka, then wine when the sun is down– I never keep count of good things!
Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account?
What should everyone try at least once?
Travel to South Africa—it’s truly an amazing place with a little bit of everything and so much history.
Where do you enjoy getting lost?
In my own creative mind.