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Cinderella to couture queen: meet socialite Mouna AyoubShe emerges Venus-like out of a mist of hairspray with tousled hair, a shimmering 50,000 euro Chanel jacket and a 1,000-watt smile.The billionaire divorcee's claim to fame: owning the world's largest collection of haute couture – a 1,600-piece wardrobe in which each gown costs between 50,000 and 290,000 euros ($70,000-$400,000).The Lebanese socialite is perhaps the best-known member of an uber-elite group of super-rich women who keep alive haute couture, the 150-year-old Parisian tradition of making astronomically priced, made-to-measure gowns.The 56-year-old has friends in high places.Ayoub now wears couture at every public engagement before stashing the gown away in a sleepy French village to be preserved forever.Take when her yacht scraped a rock along Corsica's coast in 2002, and she nearly drowned. In a panic, she boarded a lifeboat with the bare essentials: a Jean Paul Gaultier gown to look chic for rescue, and a Louis Vuitton bag with $9.6 million of jewels inside.
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