Fashion - September 18, 2018

How to create an iconic brand – Volume 13: Diane Von Furstenberg

It’s not so easy to create a fashion piece and to become an icon. Diane Von Furstenberg, thanks to her wrap dress, succeeded in this challenge. The Belgian-American fashion designer, former princess and Studio 54’s star, with this jersey dress, taught women to be sexy and comfortable at the same time. She’s a true fashion icon, with an amazing story to tell. Are you ready to discover everything about Diane Von Furstenberg?


The Seventies: she created the legendary wrap dress

The world met Diane Von Furstenberg in 1969 when she married Prince Egon, heir of a noble Swiss family. But Diane, born in 1946 as Diane Simone Michelle Halfin, already has a great story to tell behind her shoulders. Her mother Lilian survived the Holocaust and she gave her birth after a few months she lived this terrible experience. Through the years, Diane would always credited her with teaching that: “Fear is not an option”.


At 18 years old, when she was studying in Geneve, she met for the first time Prince Egon Von Furstenberg. Despite their engagement, she wanted to become a businesswoman. The fashion world opened to her his doors in Paris where she started to work for photographer Albert Koski, she learnt everything in Como, working as an apprentice in Angelo Ferretti’s factory.

In 1970, Diane and Egon moved to New York. The Von Furstenbergs soon became the golden couple of the Big Apple’s nightlife. They are the stars of Studio 54 and they became close friends of Andy Warhol (who gifted Diane with one of his iconic portraits). In New York, she realized it was about time to start her business: she persuaded Ferretti to produce some of the dresses she designed, in order to sell them to New York’s buyers. In a few weeks, every department store in the city wanted DVF dresses. Why were they so special? They were in jersey, a fabric easy to cut and to wrap around every silhouette. Diana Vreeland, Vogue America‘s editor in chief in those years, helped her to enter in the New York Fashion Week schedule.

After 1973, when she separated from Prince Egon, the designer focused on launching her fashion brand in New York, becoming, thanks to her wrap dresses, an icon of empowerment and independence. “Feel like a woman, wear a dress!”: with this motto, she persuaded women to discover once again their femininity and beauty, even in the office. By 1976, she had sold over a million of the dresses and was featured on the cover of Newsweek. The accompanying article declared her: “The most marketable woman since Coco Chanel.


The Eighties and Nineties: new businesses and a come back

Following her success in the Seventies, Diane Von Furstenberg decided to move to Paris and start new businesses. In those years, she focused on new ventures, like the French-language publishing house Salvy and beauty and home design collections. But she wasn’t able to forget her passion for fashion. In 1992 she launched with Qvc TV network the more affordable collection Silk Assets. In a few hours, it went sold out. In 4 years, Qvc recorded more than 40 million dollars of revenues from Diane’s collection.


This new success gave her the confidence to relaunch her company. In 1997, from her new studio in the Meatpacking District, the designer conquered the fashion spotlights once again with her iconic wrap dresses. Her clients are the daughters of the women she dressed in the Seventies. The DVF style was represented by the 2000s it girls, like Paris Hilton.

The 2000s: DVF at the top of American fashion

More than 30 years after the debut of the wrap dress, Diane Von Furstenberg still keeps on charming the fashion industry with her message of empowerment, independence, and femininity. It’s not just about style, it’s a true lifestyle. In 2005, von Furstenberg received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the CFDA for her impact on fashion, and one year later was elected the CFDA’s President. In 2012, she launched a kidswear collection with Gap and a denim partnership with Current/Elliott, while in 2014 she brought on the runway Google Glass.


Who represents empowering values Diane always endorsed in her life? It’s easy to answer: our beautiful Chiara Ferragni! At New York Fashion Week, our beloved fashion icon had the honour to spend some time with the legendary designer. We can’t wait to discover what they said to each other in Chiara’s documentary!




Get inspired by DVF! Take a look at our gallery with some of the most iconic collections she designed and don’t miss our Stories on The Blonde Salad Instagram account!

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