In the two years since Shaun Kearney's been at the creative helm of Cynthia Steffe
, several of the country's biggest retailers have renewed their previously dormant accounts. What is he doing right? Absorbing elements of street style—like the girls he spotted in Williamsburg mixing fatigue jackets with ruffles and tweed—and turning out modern looks that add a touch of edge to the brand's sweet silhouettes. For Fall, he showed slouchy-skinny Donegal pants, cropped sweaters paired with tiny pleated skirts, and a standout Mongolian curly lamb vest. Although the show dragged at times with one too many takes on the schoolgirl motif, Kearney ended on a high note by showing a short, distressed-sequin dress with an oversize, fur-trimmed moleskin parka. It's not groundbreaking, but the classics-with-a-twist approach should have wide appeal.