Sunday 25 February 2018

The first daughters' club

Why Trump and Macron's greatest assets are the next generation

Brigitte Macron with daughter Tiphaine;
Tiphaine and husband Antoine Choteau

Susannah Butter

Daughters can have a humanising effect on public figures, even if they are politicians. The new President of France's stepdaughter, Tiphaine Auzière, recently defended her family, saying she believes the focus on the age gap between her mother and Emmanuel Macron is ageist and sexist. Auzière, who at 33 is the youngest daughter of First Lady Brigitte Macron, and is just six years younger than the president, said: "I find it totally outrageous in the 21st century to make such attacks. These are attacks that we wouldn't direct at male politicians or at a man who would accompany a female politician."

Auzière has been at her stepfather's side throughout the campaign and is an ardent Macronista, now standing as a parliamentary candidate for En Marche and insiders say she is a fantastic asset - family politics can be infectious.

Across the Atlantic, the US president's daughter 35-year-old Ivanka is known as his Trump card. Many see her as the de facto First Lady (despite her protestations). She has an office in the West Wing, meets world leaders and consults with her father on everything from immigration to North Korea. Here's everything you need to know about the first daughters.The trajectories

Both women are high achievers. Auzière studied at the University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, specialising in labour law. Macron encouraged this career path and helped her prepare for bar exams.

Now she has her own practice in Saint-Josse near Calais.

If you are looking to fight an unfair dismissal, Auzière is your woman. But she has range, and has also worked on fraud and murder cases. She's interested in unions and ran the En Marche! campaign where she lives, putting in long nights at phone banks and handing out leaflets as well as giving Macron legal advice.

Trump graduated from the Wharton Business School in 2004 with an economics degree. She went into the family business as a real estate executive and started a clothing line. Early on she accepted that it paid off (figuratively and literally) to stick with her father's company, and since his election she has become a Renaissance woman with many strings to her portfolio. There's her clothing line, and now she works as assistant to her father. Somehow she's found time to write a second book, Women Who Work: Rewriting the Rules for Success, which is number four on the New York Times bestsellers' list. Those who know her are hoping she will be a moderating, liberal influence on her father.

The dynasties

Auzière grew up in Amiens. Her father is André Auzière, a banker who married Brigitte Trogneux when he was 22 and she was 20, and she has an older sister, Laurence, and brother, Sebastien. She went to La Providence High School, where her mother taught literature and the man who is now President of France was a few years above her, in the same class as Laurence. Macron's parents originally thought their son had a crush on Laurence when in fact he had fallen in love with her mother.

Auzière was 23 when her parents divorced. Her mother married Macron the following year, in 2007, and Auzière says she appreciated that he asked her and her siblings for permission: "Not everyone has this tact in blended families." She says Macron fitted into the family with ease. The family are close, spending a lot of time in the smart beach resort Le Touquet.

Meanwhile, in New York, Trump was 10 years old when her parents divorced.

She has said it was "mortifying" to see pictures of her parents in the newspapers as their break-up played out in public. She stayed close to both parents, dropping by her father's office on the way home from school (Chapin in Manhattan) "just to say hello" and calling her mother, Czech-American model Ivana "my inspiration". At 15 she moved to boarding school in Connecticut, which she has said felt like "prison", far from her New York friends.

Family life

Auzière is married to Antoine Choteau, a gastroenterologist, and they have two children, Elise, three, and Aurèle, 18 months (almost the same age as En Marche!). They call Macron "Grandpa" and he is a popular babysitter.

Trump is part of a political power couple. Her husband, real estate developer Jared Kushner, is the president's senior adviser and she converted to Judaism for him. They have three children, Theodore (1), Joseph (4), and Arabella (5), who sung a song in Mandarin for Chinese President Xi Jinping on his recent visit to the family holiday home in Mar-a-Lago. It has been viewed 2.2 million times. The couple are worth an estimated $740m.

The style

As a working mother, Auzière's style is unfussy and professional but there is a touch of rebelliousness (vive la révolution).

She is partial to a military jacket and, like her mother, favours a high statement neckline and heels. For Macron's inauguration she wore her blonde hair swept up in a chignon and a smart shift with a black and white floral pattern. She paired it with black suede ankle boots and a bag with 1970s fringing, contrasting with the clean lines of her mother's powder blue Louis Vuitton power suit.

On the campaign trail her uniform was a grey sweatshirt with the message "En Marche!" emblazoned across it. She smartened it up with a white collar.

Trump is also a working mother. In her new book she claims her current signature outfit is a puréed avocado-stained bathrobe.

But the face she presents to the world is more polished.She mixes designer labels with J. Crew and her own line, sales of which have risen by 346pc so far this year, despite Nordstrom dropping it from its shops. A pair of Ivanka Trump tropical print jeans will set you back €132.

At a recent dinner with Angela Merkel and Christine Lagarde she wore mismatched Marni cocktail earrings that were so big they stole the attention from politics. She says she likes wearing colour and her choices are inspired by her friend Taylor Swift.

Irish Independent

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