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Tory Burch receives high honors from the ACS. Photo: Ben Hider, Getty Images

Tory Burch could not hold back the tears in the ballroom of New York City's Pierre Hotel as the American Cancer Society honored her as a "Mother of the Year." (The designer has three sons and three stepdaughters.)

"I need a tissue," she pleaded mid-speech, after being introduced by her own mother, Reva. (In her remarks, Reva joked that she [Tory] "likes being a mother more than I like being a shoe"-- a reference to the popular range of Tory Burch ballerina flats named after her.)

Burch, who was being honored alongside breast cancer specialist Dr. Deborah Axelrod, spoke to StyleList before the ceremony about how she became involved with the ACS.

"I'm on the board of Memorial Sloan-Kettering and through that I learned about the ACS," she said. "My father passed away form cancer, and it's touched me throughout my life with different people. Everything about the ACS is about hope and that's what I love about it."

We also spoke with the event's emcee, Hoda Kotb, who attended with her "Today" co-host Kathie Lee Gifford.

"I'm a breast cancer survivor so I'm one of those people who looks at the American Cancer Society and thinks, thank you," Kotb said.

"Once you've been diagnosed and come out the other end, you do really feel as if you have another bite at the apple. And as a survivor, or as a survivor of any horrible event, I think you get a four-word take-away: You Can't Scare Me."

After Tory's tears had dried and the applause subsided, we had a chance to talk to the designer about her new collection and what trends she's feeling for spring.

"We did tie-dye leather and high-heeled moccasins that I love, and we did a great floral print. That's just us, but in general I think things are moving a little more minimal," she explained.

"But tie-dye leather and high-heeled moccasins don't sound very minimal?" we pointed out.

"Well, that's how it's moving," Burch said with a grin, "but not us."

Check out another women's health issue and how fashion designers and celebrities got involved.

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