Audrey Hepburn's granddaughter makes her own mark

TRIBECA, Manhattan (WABC) -- This is the story of a young woman who's honoring the memory of her grandmother, a Hollywood legend she never knew.

Emma Ferrer was born a year after Audrey Hepburn passed away, but she remains very much true to the spirit of the late star. She's been a model and an actress, and now, she is active in the art world and striking a fine balance between celebrating Hepburn and making a name for herself.

They never met face to face, but what they share is grace. Look into Ferrer's eyes and you will see Audrey Hepburn there. You'll see her grandmother's beauty to be sure, but also the great star's kindness and compassion.

"There was a lot of coming to terms sort of that I had to do, especially because I found myself becoming more and more interested in things that she was interested in," she said.

There was fashion in particular, but also acting and modeling. Ferrer was tapped for the cover of Harper's Bazaar as a teenager because, as Emma said, she always had her own particular sense of fashion that never followed any particular trend but was uniquely her.

The way clothes are created is the focus of her first exhibit as a curator for Sapar Contemporary in Tribeca.

"The whole exhibition is really learning about everything that comes before a final piece," she said.

Some designers start with a sketch, but Zac Posen begins with fabric. He's sent over the beginning of a formal gown to demonstrate, so instead of an illustration, the fabric -- draped and pinned -- becomes the sketch.
A portion of the proceeds from the show will go to a charity, and that too is in keeping with a key part of her grandmother's legacy.

"She really despised this idea of excess, and she really valued simplicity," Ferrer said. "And so by the end of her life, she was living out of two suitcases worth of clothing."

Ferrer has just a few of her grandmother's sweaters and a gold chain, which seems very fitting given that, like Audrey, she is not materialistic.

Audrey Hepburn toured the world to raise money and awareness for UNICEF, and her granddaughter is active with a U.S. agency that helps the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights with refugees.

In short, Ferrer can embrace the Hepburn legacy while still defining her own.

"I think so," she said, smiling, and my memories of meeting Audrey Hepburn came back to me from 30 years ago.

I will never forget the star's unique mix of beauty and kindness, grace and elegance. Ferrer has inherited much of that, but also her grandmother's determination to make the world a better place, and a more stylish one as well.

CLICK HERE for more information on the exhibit, called "Ideas Get Dressed."

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