“Feel like a woman. Wear a dress”
— Diane von Furstenberg
Diane Von Furstenberg is a woman of innovation and class, a mover and a shaker. She is a woman with a fashionable vision achieved. Diane von Furstenberg, born Diane Simone Michelle Halfin on December 31, 1945 in Brussels, Belgium, became a fashion icon with her clever concept “the wrap dress” at the tender age of 26 in 1972. The daughter of a Holocaust survivor, Furstenberg was a student at the University of Geneva where she studied Economics and met Austro-Italian Prince Egon von Furstenberg. They married and moved to New York City in 1969, where her son Alexandre and daughter Tatiana was born. Unfortunately, she was divorced shortly after the birth of her second child.
In 1972 she began her own business, entering the U.S. clothing market selling knit dresses. Diane hit the New York fashion world by storm with her versatile dress, which was appropriate for the office yet sexy enough for a night at Studio 54. With the success of selling 5 million units of the infamous wrap dress, Ms. Von Furstenberg became a sensation landing on the covers of such prestigious publications such as The Wall Street Journal and Newsweek, who hailed Ms. Von Furstenberg as the most marketable designer since Coco Chanel — a new icon for liberated women. The wrap dress, which due to its important influence on women’s fashion, is also on display at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Ms. Von Furstenberg started numerous businesses including a line of cosmetics, licensing ventures and a home furnishing collection from 1975 to 1983. After her stint of entrepreneurial success, Diane von Furstenberg moved to Paris in 1985 and founded Salvy, a French-language publishing house. However, she returned to the U.S. in 1992 and pioneered TV-shopping with the creation and on-air selling of her Silk Assets collection.
In today’s era, Diane von Furstenberg is a symbol of the stylishly liberated fashionista. With the help of her daughter-in-law Alexandra, Ms. Von Furstenberg re-launched her clothing line in 1997. In 2001, Diane von Furstenberg married media mogul Barry Diller. She continues to design and market her line under the Diane Von Furstenberg name.
For more information about Diane von Furstenberg and to view her recent collection you can visit www.dvf.com
To see the full timeline go to Infomat
1972 DVF designs easy knit dresses
1975 Creates the 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 builds in-house cosmetics business
1983 Sells cosmetics business to British pharmaceutical company 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. Received the New York Mayor’s Liberty
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)
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