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When Vanessa Seward was hired by the late Loris Azzaro in November 2002 to help steer his flashy Parisian couture house back into fashion, the then 32-year-old assistant had no idea that one day she would take over the whole outfit. But she did know she had an affinity for the designer's glamorous, effortless style. In the late 1970s and 1980s, when Azzaro was famous for dressing bombshells like Sophia Loren and Raquel Welch, Seward was a schoolgirl growing up just around the corner from the glitzy Azzaro boutique on Paris's Faubourg St.-Honoré. "In fact, my mother used to work...

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