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This season, Tanya Taylor took a different approach to showing her latest designs: She invited an intimate group of women into her home for conversation over lunch Saturday, and dressed them for the occasion.

“You immediately get to see someone that you love wear something that you just made,” said Taylor before lunch in her airy SoHo loft.

“When we were doing a show, I just felt like I wasn’t getting to talk to people who inspire me or wear our collection — and a lot of people who wear our collection aren’t even in the industry. I wanted to bring them all together during fashion week, and have some fashion people here for them to connect all the dots,” she added. Her guest list reflected that sentiment; the room was packed with female business founders as well as fashion tastemakers (and Chelsea Clinton). “It just feels good. At the end of the day you’re like, that felt like a great event and you’re happy about launching the collection and what you’re doing in the industry.”

At the start of lunch, each founder stood up and introduced themselves and their companies. Many touched upon reflecting the female point of view in their respective industries.

“The real premise was in an era of Victoria’s Secret being the market leader, we felt like there was a real need for competition, but also a real need for women to come forward with a message about what makes them feel good in their own skin,” said Negative Underwear cofounder Marissa Vosper.

Other brands reflected included Gossamer, eco-laundromat-café concept Celsious, a female leadership coaching program, sexual wellness brand Unbound, and others in the fashion sphere. For Fivestory cofounder Claire Distenfeld, the lunch offered a chance to share her story of subverting expectations in launching another company, Dada Daily, this past year.

“I conquered a fear and went after something I’d wanted to do my whole life, which was start a health food snack company,” she said.

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