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WWD Collections issue 11/11/2013

Gloria Gaynor is a pro.

Before her performance at Moschino’s 30th anniversary show, the artist was doing some light stretching and gentle breathing exercises, clearly working on keeping her mind focused on the event ahead. Still, she gamely took the time to talk backstage—no diva behavior here.

This story first appeared in the November 11, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Gaynor noted that her 1979 hit “I Will Survive,” which she performed at the show, has taken on a life of its own. Its impact has inspired her to do a book about “40 survivor stories from fans around the world,” she said, wearing a custom Moschino fuchsia jersey gown with crystal appliqués on the neckline.

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“These are people who went through traumatic experiences,” she explained, for example a young boy in Africa who watched as his younger brother and sister were killed, or a woman who escaped death at Auschwitz.

“I had been hearing stories for years,” she said, recounting that these individuals told her they found inspiration in the song. “Even more than the song, what could be more inspirational than a story where one comes out victorious, finding that there’s a way out?” The book is to be released on Dec. 1 with an inspirational CD.

Gaynor performed four songs during the show and at the after party, including one of the late Franco Moschino’s signature runway tracks, “I Am What I Am,” plus “I Love You Baby” and “Never Can Say Goodbye.”

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