Say the name ‘Diane von Furstenberg’ and many women will likely think of the now-iconic wrap dress we all know and have come to adore. While there’s no doubt that this legendary fashion designer created what just may well have become the most recognizable silhouette in fashion to this day, there’s so much more to Diane von Furstenberg than meets the dress. Just who is Diane von Furstenberg, or DVF as she’s sometimes referred to, anyway?
Diane von Furstenberg was christened Diane Simone Michelle Halfin when she was born in 1946 Belgium. According to Britannica, her mother was a survivor of the Holocaust. As von Furstenberg mentions in countless interviews and even on podcasts, she considers her mother a significant, shaping influence in her life.
In her early 20s, von Furstenberg married a member of the royal house: Prince Egon zu Fürstenberg. They wed in 1969 but later divorced in 1983. While they were married, the pair relocated to New York City where von Furstenberg first got her start in the fashion industry as a model. As the saying goes, the rest is history!
No profile on Diane von Furstenberg would be complete without covering the invention of that iconic wrap dress, which she created in the 1970s. Now quite familiar to women virtually everywhere, the dress is known to feature a tie at the waist and a more fitted bodice with a slightly flared skirt. It’s feminine yet practical and wonderful for a variety of occasions.
Her biography on Britannica details the popularity of this style of dress. Ultimately, her creation landed von Furstenberg a cover spot on both Newsweek and The Wall Street Journal at an early age. She went on to start additional business ventures like cosmetics and home furnishings companies and, in 1997, actually brought back her famous wrap dress to the delight of millions. The second launch of the dress was, not surprisingly, well-received once again.
It seems that there may be more than one talented fashion designer in the von Furstenberg family. Von Furstenberg’s granddaughter, Talita, shares her well-known last name and now, a career in the same industry.
Teen Vogue interviewed Talita about the capsule wardrobe she recently launched. She states in her interview that she knew she wanted a career in the fashion industry after her famous grandmother took her to Florence for a design collection. What an inspirational beginning to a career!
As if it weren’t enough of an accomplishment to have created a dress known throughout the world, von Furstenberg also added the titles of author and podcaster to her resume. Her profile on Britannica notes she published three ‘coffee-table’ style books in the 1990s. She then went on to write her first memoir in 1998. More recently, she published her second memoir in 2014.
Then, in 2020, she launched a podcast where she interviews other women in leadership roles.
We’re all well aware that 2020 had more than its fair share of trials and tribulations. Von Furstenberg is no exception, having had to close some of her retail stores and lay off employees, according to People. Nearly all of the retail stores were closed down and three-quarters of the staff were laid off. However, von Furstenberg did state that she planned to pay those former employees.
It seems that 2020 took its toll on the famous woman, but she appears determined to rise again and not let it get to her.
Von Furstenberg decided to celebrate her latest birthday with a cruise, according to People. While she may have made waves at sea, she certainly made some waves on Instagram when she posted a photo of herself in her one-piece swimsuit, sans makeup. Her message included a call to “own your age” to show the world that you have indeed lived.
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Her recent social media swimsuit selfie is par for the course, as von Furstenberg is an avid supporter of women’s empowerment, as reported in People. In an interview with the magazine, she advocated for having a relationship with yourself. She also proudly declared that she is a feminist. She said to People, “The truth is that being in charge is first and foremost, a commitment to yourself. It’s owning who you are. If you own your imperfections, they become your assets.”
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It isn’t any wonder then that von Furstenberg has accomplished so many things in her full life. She managed to launch a best-selling, iconic dress that is still seen in stores today. Her business ventures expanded to encompass not just fashion but also cosmetics and furnishings. She became an author, multiple times over, and is now a podcaster.
Diane von Furstenberg is still going strong today and doesn’t seem to show any signs of slowing down, either. We say, good for her! We can’t wait to know what amazing creations we’ll see from Diane von Furstenberg next.