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Cynthia Steffe: Fashion Designer 34

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Donna Karan hired her before she graduated from Parsons School of Design. Her husband, Richard Roberts, made up his mind even quicker: “I knew the minute I saw her I wanted to marry her.” Since 1989 he’s been her business partner, too, as she has launched her own line of vibrant sportswear (those are her sketches above). “I want a youthful personality to my clothes,” Steffe says, “even though the woman I design for is not necessarily young. If clothing makes a woman feel beautiful, it will also make her feel sensual.” Growing up in small-town Boyden, Iowa, Steffe says, “I marched to my own beat in the way I dressed.” Now others are marching with her. Says CBS lifestyle reporter Pat George: “Her clothes are right on and her colors are original. She will be another Liz Claiborne or Adrienne Vittadini.”