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The World’s Most Powerful Women: April 15

Good morning, WMPW readers! Indian clothing designer Anita Dongre got a boost from the Duchess of Cambridge, billionaire Margarita Louis-Dreyfus wants to sell her soccer team, and a female interpreter for China’s top leaders has a cult following. Enjoy your weekend!

THE BIG STORY

A royal endorsement For Indian clothing designer Anita Dongre, it was a bit of a shock. A few hours after the Duchess of Cambridge was seen wearing one of Dongre’s bohemian dresses on a public cricket ground during her official visit to India, the designer’s website crashed. Then she was overrun with emails and phone calls from around the world. Everyone wanted the dress. Pronto. Kate Middleton, who did not reveal her wardrobe choice ahead of time, has become known for raising the profile of certain designers. Dongre, whose website now features several photos of the Duchess wearing the dress, plans to boost production of the breezy frock fivefold to meet demand. Talk about an endorsement. Wall Street Journal

EUROPE/MIDDLE EAST/AFRICA


Soccer for sale
Billionaire Margarita Louis-Dreyfus, one of Fortune’s Most Powerful Women, said she plans to sell the French soccer club Olympique de Marseille. Russian-born Louis-Dreyfus, chairwoman of one of the largest commodity traders in the world, said she wasn’t worried about how much she’d get for the club: “The price won’t be my first concern.”
Bloomberg

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No backing out
International Monetary Fund Director Christine Lagarde said the IMF will not leave Greece in the lurch. “We will not walk away” from Greece’s bailout, she said. The rescue has been funded by the so-called troika of the IMF, the European Commission, and the European Central Bank. Lagarde’s comments were an attempt to dampen growing concerns the IMF could quit Greek bailouts after six years.
CNBC

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Burkini brouhaha
A growing number of brands—Marks & Spencer, DKNY, Tommy Hilfiger, Uniqlo, and Dolce & Gabbana, to name a few—have started offering Islamic fashions, roiling certain officials in France. Laurence Rossignol, France’s minister for women’s rights told news network BFMTV: “What’s at stake is social control over women’s bodies. When brands invest in this Islamic garment market, they are shirking their responsibilities and are promoting women’s bodies being locked up.” The fuss has grown since M&S’s “burkini,” a swim suit that covers the entire body, became available online.
New York Times

ASIA-PACIFIC



A rock star interpreter
Zhang Lu, an interpreter for China’s top leaders, including Premier Li Keqiang, has developed somewhat of a cult following. During a trip to Hong Kong, her young female fans cried out, “You are a goddess to me!” Zhang, who has interpreted at high-level meetings such as Group of 20 summits and the Copenhagen climate talks, made more than four dozen overseas trips with officials last year. She must be tireless.
South China Morning Post

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Paying for school
In a move that will help educate girls in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, the World Bank is giving $2.5 billion over five years to low-income countries. The money, which will be dispersed by 2020, was lauded by First Lady Michelle Obama. “When we invest in girls’ education, when we embrace women in our workforce, that just doesn’t benefit them, it benefits all of us,” she said.
ABC News

THE AMERICAS



A new Gilt-y pleasure
Alexis Maybank, the co-founder of Gilt, is launching a new mobile shopping app called Project September. The app, which enables consumers to use Instagram-like feeds to buy products, has an alliance with some 2,000 retailers, including Bloomingdale’s, Coach, and Fendi. While the company did not disclose the amount of funding it has raised, it did say it has the backing of VC firms WME Ventures, Venrock, Greylock Partners, First Round Capital, and Montage Ventures.
Fortune

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A powerful payment
Designer Tory Burch’s efforts to get loans for female entrepreneurs just got a major lift. Bank of America announced it is doubling its investment in the Tory Burch Foundation Capital Program by giving women-owned businesses $20 million in loans this year and next.
Yahoo Finance

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Avoiding the glass cliff
Research shows that when a crisis hits, companies are more likely to promote women to its upper ranks, only to replace them once the tough times fade. Dubbed the “glass cliff,” it can be averted by taking the advice offered in this story. Hint: maintain a healthy sense of self-awareness and understand a company’s history.
Fast Company

IN BRIEF


Meet the former Coke exec who leads the WNBA
Fortune


Jane Sanders says she and Bernie will vote for Hillary Clinton, if need be
Fortune


Supreme Court of Brazil deals setback to President Dilma Rousseff, permitting impeachment process to proceed
Wall Street Journal


Female journalist who trains reporters in Syria wins Freedom of Expression Award
indexoncensorship.org


Actress Kristen Stewart will feature in two movies at the Cannes Film Festival
Variety


Bill in California aimed at reducing eating disorders in modeling industry advances
Business of Fashion


A female author on how to rid yourself of the idea you’re not good enough
Inc.

Correction: Yesterday, I mistakenly said there were three women on Restaurant magazine’s top chef list. But there were four: Clare Smyth, Helene Darroze, Angela Hartnett, and Nieves Barragán-Mohaco. Apologies.

PARTING WORDS

A stern, decisive man is appealing. There are those who would say a stern, decisive woman is unappealing. Need you know any more than that?
— actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus, on her role in the show 'Veep' and how people react to women in power