Feb 15, 2017
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NYFW: Tory Burch turns to Hepburn in defense of women

Feb 15, 2017

Multimillionaire Tory Burch kicked off Valentine's Day at New York fashion week on Tuesday by unveiling a Katharine Hepburn inspired collection designed for the modern, elegant and powerful woman.

Held at the Whitney Museum of American Art, where the winter sun poured through the windows and a red hardback of love poems was carefully laid out for each guest, the show oozed class.

Tory Burch - Fall-Winter2017 - Womenswear - New York - © PixelFormula

The opening look -- a model dressed in a white coat and white pants -- was difficult to dissociate with one of Hillary Clinton's most iconic ones during her defeated presidential bid last year that Burch supported.

"To me, she is a hero," 50-year-old Burch told AFP backstage of Hepburn, the late screen legend, after the show on the sixth day of fashion week.

"I think she personifies powerful women in a way, she was very irreverent and outspoken and did it with such grace."

From a classic navy blue pant suit, to a waist accentuated by silver-colored sparkling buttons, to a Fair Isle winter sweater paired with velvet pants or jacquard skirt, they could have been staples from a chic 1950s closet.

Burch, whom Forbes ranks 73 on the list of the world's most powerful women, has made a fortune out of her lifestyle brand of preppy chic.

Since Oprah Winfrey helped propel her to fame in 2005, Burch's clothes have been worn by well-heeled women all over the world such as Catherine Zeta-Jones, Jennifer Lopez or the duchess of Cambridge. Actress Diane Kruger was at her show Tuesday.

Burch said she had been "greatly affected" by the protests that erupted after Donald Trump's inauguration, especially the massive women's march on Washington on January 21.

"It was something that takes your breath away," she said.

"I think that it's bigger than what it became about, because women are half the population, it should be equal rights, equal pay... it should be a given not a favor."

The designer said she was gearing up for a Women's Day campaign on March 8 that would bring together women and girls to talk about embracing ambition and "how important that is right now, especially for women in America."

But Burch downplayed a dinner she attended that was hosted by first daughter Ivanka Trump -- before her father's inauguration -- another elegant New York businesswoman who has also called for better pay for women and child care.

"It was just a meeting that someone set up, 15 CEOs maybe in a room, I think she is just trying to figure out what she is doing," said Burch. "I don't work with Ivanka, so I don't know."

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