Narciso Rodriguez was raised in Newark, New Jersey. He graduated from Parson's School of Design in New York. Following freelance work in New York's garment industry, he joined Anne Klein under Donna Karan. Later, he moved to Calvin Klein, where he worked on the women's collection.
In 1995, Rodriguez became Design Director of TSE, where he presented the first ready-to-wear collections for men and women in New York.
In 1996, Rodriguez received international acclaim when he designed the bias-cut wedding dress that Carolyn Bessette wore to marry John F. Kennedy, Jr.
Rodriguez was awarded "Best New Designer" at the Vogue/VH1 Fashion Awards in New York and the "Perry Ellis Award" for the best new designer by the Council of Fashion Designers of America. The same year, Loewe appointed Rodriguez as Design Director of the women's ready-to-wear collection, which he held until 2001.
On November 4, 2008, Narciso Rodriguez became part of a monumental event in American history. To celebrate Barack Obama's triumphant victory as the first African American president of The United States, Michelle Obama chose to wear a dress from the designer's spring 2009 collection.