Style icon since the ‘70s: Diane von Furstenberg
Published: Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 17:11
Diane von Furstenberg, often referred to as DvF, has been creating clothing and accessories -while keeping in mind her desire to empower women that remain timeless and appeal to all ages, especially college students.
Furstenberg, who is most famously known for introducing the jersey knitted “wrap dress,” was born in Belgium in 1946.
Furstenberg began her career as a Belgian-American fashion designer in 1970 after agreeing to marry Prince Egon of Furstenberg, part of the German princely House of Furstenberg.
The aristocratic Furstenberg name stuck and aided in her initial rise to fame.
Furstenberg’s career took off in 1972 when she introduced the jersey knitted wrap dress that is easily associated with her.
Due to its far-reaching appeal, this dress became a symbol of the effortless elegance and empowerment that is fundamental to the DvF fashion brand.
By 1976, she had sold over five million of these dresses leading to her feature on the cover of Newsweek. Furstenberg was represented as a new, fresh icon in the fashion industry.
In 1997, after she took a hiatus from fashion, Furstenberg re-emerged on the New York fashion scene by re-establishing her company and bringing back the iconic wrap dress that started it all.
Furstenberg’s lines are now sold in 70 countries worldwide while having 45 freestanding shops.
Conveniently for SMU students, a DvF store is located in Highland Park Village. It’s the perfect place to shop for dresses as the beginning of formal season hits.
Furstenberg’s powerful brand now offers four complete collections per year. The full range of accessories extends to shoes, handbags, small leather goods, scarves, eye wear, fine jewelry, watches and luggage.
In 2010, she further expanded her line and introduced a home collection that includes dinnerware, flatware, bedding, bath decor and rugs.
But she didn’t stop there. Among the home collection, the DvF Empire even includes sportswear, beauty and fragrance lines. DIANE, the fragrance, was launched in 2011.
Furstenberg continues to appeal to all ages. Her most recent endeavor is her first-ever collaborative line of children’s wear for Gap Kids, which was released in March 2012.
Both adorable and affordable, this line has appealed to a large audience. While designing her Gap line, Furstenberg wanted to create something that both mothers and children can enjoy.
This new collection consists of clothing suitable for newborns and children up to age 14. It offers a large variety of styles that reflect her signature pieces originally designed for adults.
Along with expressing her commitment to empower women through fashion, Furstenberg also displays her loyalty through philanthropy and mentorship.
Furstenberg is on the board of Vital Voices, a non-governmental organization that supports female leaders and entrepreneurs around the world.
Furstenberg’s drive to empower women is distinctly reflected through her involvement.
Furstenberg also established the DvF Awards to honor and extend grants to women who have displayed leadership, strength and courage in their commitment to their causes.
Furstenberg’s hard work and commitment certainly paid off.
In 2005, Furstenberg received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) for her impact on fashion.
A year later she was elected, and currently is, the CFDA’s president. Furstenberg has dedicated herself to fostering up-and-coming talent while also aiding in the establishment of the Design Piracy Prohibition Act, which protects designers from counterfeit reproductions of their work.
Furstenberg has proven that she is not just a fashion icon who has been influencing this business for decades, but she is also a committed philanthropist hoping to empower young women around the world.
Her success has made her a well respected high-end designer whose lines are loved by a large variety of women.