Fashion Biography

Diane Von Furstenberg, Fashion Designer


Fashion Designer Diane von Furstenberg was born in Brussels, Belgium. She studied Economics at the University of Geneva, Switzerland, where she met Austro Italian Prince Egon von Furstenberg. They married and moved to New York, where son Alexandre and daughter Tatiana were bom. Today, the children are grown, and von Furstenberg runs the New York based design and marketing studio bearing her name. Splitting her time between homes in Connecticut, New York, Paris, and the Bahamas, von Furstenberg is always on the go, gathering inspiration for ventures as eclectic as she is.

Diane von Furstenberg first arrived in the fashion world in 1972 with her iconic wrap dress, the seed of what is today a full fashion house. By 1976, Diane had sold millions of her dresses, coming to symbolize female power and freedom to an entire generation. In 1997, after a hiatus from fashion, Diane reemerged on the New York fashion scene with the re launch of the dress that had started it all and began building her company into a global luxury lifestyle brand. Today, the DVF collection includes ready to wear, shoes, handbags, accessories, eyewear, swim, DVF by H. Stern fine jewelry and watches, rugs, home and luggage.

In 2005, Diane was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) for her impact on fashion, and one year later, was elected the CFDA"s new president, an office she continues to hold. A firm believer in the infinite power of women, Diane sits on the board of Vital Voices, a women"s leadership organization that empowers emerging women leaders and social entrepreneurs around the world. In 2010 she established The DVF Awards with The Diller von Furstenberg Family Foundation to honor women who have displayed leadership, strength, and courage in their commitment to their causes. The annual event aims to provide the honorees with exposure and support. As a longtime resident of New York"s Meatpacking District, Diane is a vocal member of the local community and was actively involved in the campaign to save the historical High Line railway. Through her company and her family foundation, she supports a variety of women"s and environmental causes.


1972 DVF responds to void in American fashion by designing easy knit dresses

1975 Creates the light, romantic fragrance Tatiana, named for her young daughter; Licenses her name for full range of DVF products, from eyewear to luggage

1976 Sells 5 million wrap dresses, to land covers of Newsweek & The Wall Street Journal; Opens Madison Avenue cosmetics shop and publishes DVF"s Book of Beauty

1977 Introduces the Style for Living collection of home furnishings

1979 Licenses dress business and focuses on building in house cosmetics business

1983 Sells cosmetics business to British pharmaceutical giant Beecham Group Ltd. 1984 89 Ranks in top 10 in Savvy magazine"s annual survey of Top U.S. Businesses Run by Women

1985 DVF moves to Paris and founds Salvy, a French language publishing house Honored with New York Mayor"s Liberty Medal for citizens of the world who have achieved the American dream

1989 Licensed DVF products sell over $1 billion dollars in the 1980"s

1990 DVF returns to U.S.

1991 Publishes Beds, first coffee table book on the home, followed by The Bath ("93) & The Table ("96)

1992 Pioneers TV shopping with creation & live on air selling of Silk Assets collection

1993 DVF becomes a contributing editor to Vanity Fair magazine

1997 Moves to new headquarters in 19th century carriage house in West Greenwich Village; Returns to retail with launch of Diane von Furstenberg line of signature dresses at select Saks Fifth Avenue stores; Collection soon expands to Bloomingdale"s, Barney"s, Scoop, Fred Segal, & fine international specialty stores including Colette, Joseph & Joyce Boutiques; Daughter in law Alexandra becomes creative director at Studio & bridge to new generation

1998 Publishes her personal & business memoir DIANE: A Signature Life (Simon & Schuster); currently in second printing;

1999 DVF elected to the board of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) and named to the board of USA Networks Inc. Responding to growing appeal from a younger, more sophisticated customer, DVF focuses retail strategy on specialty stores and expands signature collection to include soft separates and accessories.

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By Courtney Lynne
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