1 June 2021

As she revisits her story, three generations have now worn the wrap dress Diane von Furstenberg invented to project the sensual, dynamic and appealing woman she always wanted to be: “A woman in charge!” 

For Episode 6 of Season 4 of the Creative Conversations podcast, she tells me just how many projects she is still developing today while that famous dress that started it all has now achieved 15 million sales.

Her new book, Own It – The Secret to Life (published by Phaidon) – sums up her spirit with its title. To be a feminist and a philanthropist seems like enough already, but DVF, as she is universally known, takes both elements of her life and makes them signs of strength. From supporting American Vice President, Kamala Harris, to a Statue of Liberty museum in New York, the designer has followed the words of her mother, who spent 13 months at Auschwitz. When she recovered, she said to her daughter, “God saved my life so that I can give you life.”

Diane also has projects with her husband, Barry Diller, including the Diller von Furstenberg Family Foundation. Mr. Diller is behind the vision for the brand new floating park and open-air theatre on the Hudson called the Little Island, designed by Thomas Heatherwick.

But above all, the fashion designer-turned-art supporter and fundraiser understands the importance of legacy. She describes it as what we leave behind that others can use. And a last word on the DVF mantra on the subject of packing, since life is a journey. “When we know how to pack, we know how to live – pack lightly, live lightly,” she says.

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