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Diane von Furstenberg

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Gaby Azorsky

on 4 May 2015

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Transcript of Diane von Furstenberg

Born in 1946, Diane Simone Michelle Halfin was raised in Brussels, Belgium.
Attended the University of Madrid where She met her first husband Prince Eduard Egon von Furstenberg
She apprenticed with Angelo Ferretti, an Italian textile designer.
Eduard and Diane moved to New York City in 1969 and had two children, Alexandre and Tatiana.
Showed her first collection in April 1970.
Two and a half years later, in 1972, Prince Eduard and Diane divorced
Diane opened her first Diane von Furstenberg (DVF) showroom on Seventh Avenue.

by Gaby Azorsky
Her first hit was the
sweater dress. The dress was named after black activist, Angela Davis.
In 1974, Diane had her big break and iconic major trend: the wrap dress.
The idea of the dress began as a wrap top and a wrap skirt, but when Diane saw her design on TV worn by Julie Nixon Eisenhower, the glamorous effect that the pairing had together led her to combine them into a single dress.
By bringing silk jersey and versatility to essentially every woman in America, she became a powerful fashion icon as well as an icon for career-focused women.
By 1976, she had sold over 5 million wrap dresses and was featured on the covers of Newsweek and The Wall Street Journal.
The dress came to symbolize female power, liberation, and has clothed women for four generations; it is for that reason that it remains popular today.
In 2014, DVF celebrated the 40th anniversary of the wrap dress, a completely unprecedented celebration that no trend has held.
To honor the success, the traveling exhibit, named
Journey of a Dress
, opened at LACMA (the Los Angeles County Museum of Art) on January 11, 2014 and ran through fall 2014.

The main fabrications used by DVF are silk jersey, a combination of silk and mikado, or both.
While silk jersey is a stretchy knit fabric, silk mikado is slightly more structured that results in a heavier fabric.
Diane is not famous for any specific fabric innovations in the history of fashion, but with the wrap dress and her other designs, she brought silk jersey to the playing field; specifically in the late 70s and 80s when people began to dress more casually to work.
She wanted women to feel like women in the workplace: sexy, powerful, and free.
In her designs, Diane loves to use bright colors and patterns. She often uses hot pink, purple, kelly green, lemon yellow, and cobalt blue, and her patterns usually contain florals, chain-links, or abstract forms. Although the hues and motifs vary seasonally, the vivacity of her collections and lines are always present.

The DVF brand maintains a target market of passionate, career-focused women approximately ages 20-70.
In a press release statement, Diane said, "The DVF customer still dresses very much the way she did when she was about 20, and somehow manages not to look absurd doing so."
The DVF woman possesses style, confidence, humor, and has an interest in high-fashion at the right price.

Geographic: location
Demographic: income
Psychographic: e-commerce
Due to their many locations - brick-and-mortar, department, discount, and online stores - the DVF customer profile is both high-end and mainstream
In 12 states in the United States alone, and 22 countries across the globe.
Although DVF emphasizes being a high fashion brand, their demographic segmentation varies mainly in income, and therefore in product price point.
When a woman slips into a DVF piece, specifically a wrap dress, she immediately feels luxurious. Since the wrap dresses range from about $300-$600, they can invest in the concept of “affordable luxury.”
In the 1980s Diane relocated to Europe, and when she returned to the United States in the 1990s, she had a disconnect with her customers.
To fix this problem, she pioneered the television-shopping movement to reconnect with her customers by developing a line sold on QVC. Continuing to embrace technology, she remained in touch with her clients when she launched her website in 2004.
Their user-friendly and contemporary site accurately represents their brand identity, and if a customer does not have access to DVF in-store, the website is a quick and easy way to shop the product while catering to the desires and personalities of different clients.

Dresses: $300-$2,000
Sportswear: $100-$400
Handbags: $50-$800
Shoes: $110-$430
Accessories: $40-$500.
In discount stores, the only consistent merchandise are dresses and sportswear which range in total from $75-$200.
The emphasis of Diane’s fashions are not of a particular nation or society, but they still capture the effortlessness of the European lifestyle.
Diane is influenced by culture, travel, and women worldwide: “My surroundings reflect who I am.”
Her designs are modest enough for the office and special occasions yet still sexy and feminine enough to wear out to dinner or a date.
Her creativity is sparked by learning and traveling to new locales, which is clearly seen in the bright colors and patterns in her collections.
The inspiration of tropical and luxurious locations, such as Marseilles and the Amalfi Coast, provokes feelings of desire to emulate that way of living.

I chose Diane because of her commitment to empowering women through philanthropy and fashion and that it is both interesting and inspiring.

Diane launched the DVF Awards in 2010, with the goal to recognize women whose “leadership skills and vision have had a positive impact on the lives of other women” on a global scale. "Women never cease to impress and inspire me," Diane said, "and I am very happy to create these Awards to honour and reward their leadership and dedication to the advancement of women."
Each honoree is gifted an award of $50,000 from The Diller-Von Furstenberg Family Foundation “to sustain and expand their extraordinary contributions.”
Past honorees include Hillary Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, and Alicia Keys
Through the DVF awards and her Gap Kids collaboration in March 2012, she gives woman of all ages and backgrounds a reason to come together and support each other: "This collection is about celebrating life and colour," she said. "The minute a little girl is born, she is already the woman she will be. So to empower a little girl is to empower the woman she will become."
In 2001, Diane married Bob Diller and together, in 2008, they set up The Diller-Von Furstenberg Family Foundation; a private family foundation which provides philanthropic support to various non-profit organizations and gives grants to “women who have displayed leadership and courage.”
In 2005, the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) honored Diane with the Lifetime Achievement Award, and one year later she was elected as the CFDA President, which she still holds today.
In 2012 she was named the “most powerful woman in fashion” by Forbes, and she has properly used that power to empower women internationally.
Sources of Photos:
Whether it is through philanthropy, being progressive in life and in her company, or the iconic wrap dress, Diane and the DVF brand have given a sense of pride that is both “feminine and feminist” to women for many generations and many more to come.

Last week Diane appointed Paolo Riva as the new CEO, a position she has been in the process of filling
for two years.

He was previously the VP of merchandising for
Tory Burch, and before that he was at
Valentino and Salvatore Ferragamo.
“I didn't always know what I wanted to do, but I knew the woman I wanted to be.”
Full transcript