Kathleen Katz, President of Penmore Communications, Inc, produced Quarante, a quarterly publication during the 1986-1990 period. The word "Quarante" is 40 in the French language. When Ms Katz was traveling through France duirng 1979 and 1980 she was captivated by the way older French women seemed to exude a natural confidence and sophistication that she had not seen in American women.
The fascination began while conducting a cross-cultural comparison study on women's roles. Feminism was embraced by most Western cultures, but not by the French.
French women rejected the American Women's Liberation ideas that a woman had to emulate a man to advance in the government or corporate world. French women insisted they keep their bras on, wear dresses, cosmetics and heels. They were passionate about their feminity but believed this should not prevent them from aggressively pursuing their goals.
It was only after Ms. Katz spent time in France did she begin to focus on women over 40. She stumbled on biographies by CoCo Chanel and other popular cultural femaie leaders who were quite bold in declaring that a woman was not fully a "woman" until she arrived at the age of 40 because "it takes time to become a woman."