Diane von Furstenberg first entered the fashion world in 1972 with a suitcase full of jersey dresses. Two years later, she created the wrap dress, which came to symbolize power and independence for an entire generation of women. By 1976, she had sold over a million of the dresses and was featured on the cover of Newsweek. In 1997, after a hiatus from fashion, Diane reemerged on the New York fashion scene with the relaunch of the iconic dress that had started it all and reestablished her company as the global luxury lifestyle brand that it is today. DVF is now sold in over 70 countries worldwide, and has 45 freestanding shops.
The wrap dress, and its symbolism of effortless elegance and empowerment, is integral to the DVF fashion brand, which now offers four complete collections a year. The full range of accessories extends to shoes, handbags, small leather goods, scarves, eyewear, fine jewelry, watches and luggage. In 2010, DVF debuted a home collection, encompassing tabletop, bedding and rugs. Fall 2011 saw the global launch of a signature scent, DIANE the fragrance.
In 2005, Diane received 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 president, an office she continues to hold. In this significant role she has dedicated herself to fostering emerging talent and helping to establish the Design Piracy Prohibition Act, which protects designers from counterfeit reproductions of their work.
Diane’s commitment to empowering women is expressed not only through fashion but also philanthropy and mentorship. She sits on the board of Vital Voices, a non-governmental organization that supports female leaders and entrepreneurs around the world. In 2010, with the Diller-von Furstenberg Family Foundation, Diane established the DVF Awards to honor and provide grants to women who have displayed leadership, strength and courage in their commitment to their causes.
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 historic High Line railway. The city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission has heralded her flagship building on 14th Street as a “new model of adaptive reuse for the city,” for blending an original structure with new design incorporating recycled materials and sustainable elements.
Diane is married to Barry Diller. She has two children, Alexander and Tatiana, and three grandchildren. With all of her successes, Diane happily maintains, “Children are my greatest creation.” She currently resides in New York City.