"Women like little nuances - a splash of red on a waistline, an unexpectedly placed zipper in a skirt, a boot clip." Cynthia Steffe
Cynthia Steffe was hired as a design assistant by Donna Karan (then at Anne Klein) while she was still a student at the Parsons School of Design. Steffe and her husband, Richard Roberts, started the Cynthia Steffe clothing line in 1989. Roberts had headed divisions for Calvin Klein and Alexander Julian.
Steffe's styles are known for being feminine and youthful, and she favors textured fabrics. Dresses with pockets, so women will not always have to carry a purse, are a Steffe trademark.
"Design is evolutionary, like a snowflake. It crystallizes and builds around one idea, then follow in a natural progression." Cynthia Steffe
Steffe sold a controlling interest in the company to Bernard Chaus Inc. in 2000, but remained creative director until 2007, when Waleed Khairzada replaced her at the helm. Shaun Kearney, formerly with Kenneth Cole New York, Donna Karan, MaxMara, Laundry by Shelli Segal, and Randolph Duke, replaced Khairzada in 2008.
Steffe was named one of the 50 Most Beautiful People in the World by People magazine in 1991.
"It's really about looking at the DNA of the brand and giving the consumer what she wants: novelty details, fabric dimension, and a fun, modern sensibility." Shaun Kearney
Cynthia Steffe clothes are a favorite of many of Hollywood's most glamorous actresses, including Anne Hathaway and Scarlett Johansen.