Diane von Fürstenberg

Diane von Fürstenberg (Courtesy Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Diane von Frstenberg, formerly Diane, Princess of Frstenberg (), (born 31 December 1946) is a Belgian-American fashion designer best known for her iconic wrap dress. She initially rose to prominence when she married into the German princely House of Frstenberg, as the wife of Prince Egon of Frstenberg. Following their divorce in 1972, she has continued to use his family name, although she is no longer entitled to use the title princess following her divorce and subsequent remarriage in 2001.

She re-launched her fashion company, Diane von Frstenberg (DvF), in 1997, with the reintroduction of her famous wrap dress. The company is now a global luxury lifestyle brand offering four complete collections a year. DvF is available in over 70 countries and 45 free-standing shops worldwide. The company's headquarters and flagship boutique are located in Manhattan's Meatpacking District.

In 2005, the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) awarded her the Lifetime Achievement Award and the following year named her as their president, a position she has held since 2006.

Early years

Diane Simone Michelle Halfin was born in Brussels, Belgium. Her father was Romanian-born Leon (Lipa) Halfin, who immigrated to Belgium from Chi?in?u (then Bessarabia province of Romania and now the capital of Moldova) in 1929. Her mother was Greek-born Liliane Nahmias, a Holocaust survivor. Just 18 months before Diane was born, her mother was in Auschwitz. Diane has spoken broadly about her mother's influence in her life, crediting her for teaching her that "Fear is not an option." Diane later studied economics at the University of Geneva in Switzerland. She then moved to Paris and worked as an assistant to fashion photographer's agent, Albert Koski. She left Paris for Italy to work as an apprentice to textile manufacturer Angelo Ferretti in his factory, where she learned about cut, color and fabric. It was here that she designed and produced her first silk jersey dresses.


In 1970, with a $30,000 investment, Diane began designing women's clothes - "The minute I knew I was about to be Egon's wife, I decided to have a career. I wanted to be someone of my own, and not just a plain little girl who got married beyond her desserts."[3] (Her former husband also became a fashion designer in 1974.)[6] After moving to New York, she met with famed Vogue editor Diana Vreeland who declared her designs "absolutely smashing." She then had her name listed on the Fashion Calendar for New York Fashion Week, and so her business was created.

She is best known for introducing the knitted jersey "wrap dress" in 1974, an example of which, due to its influence on women's fashion, is in the collection of the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

After the phenomenal success of the wrap dress, Diane was featured on the cover of Newsweek magazine in 1976. The cover was intended to be Gerald Ford, who had just won his first Republican Presidential Primary, but was changed at the last minute. The accompanying article declared her "the most marketable woman since Coco Chanel."

In 1974, Diane launched a cosmetic line and her first fragrance, Tatiana, which was named after her daughter.

The New York Times reported that the annual retail sales for the company in 1979 was $150 million.

In 1985, she moved to Paris, France where she founded Salvy, a French-language publishing house. Frstenberg started a number of other businesses including a line of cosmetics and a home-shopping business, which she launched in 1991.

In 1992, Diane sold $1.2 million dollars worth of her Silk Assets collection in two hours on QVC. She credited this success with giving her the confidence to re-launch her company.

Diane re-launched her company in 1997, and re-introduced the wrap dress, which gained traction with an entirely new generation of women.

In 1998, she published her business memoir, Diane: A Signature Life.

In 2004, she introduced the DVF by H. Stern fine jewelry collection, and launched scarves and beachwear.

In 2008, she received a star on Seventh Avenue's Fashion Walk of Fame.

In 2009, Michelle Obama wore the DvF signature Chain Link print wrap dress on The Official White House Christmas Card. That same year, a large-scale retrospective exhibition entitled "Diane von Frstenberg: Journey of a Dress" opened at the Manezh, one of Moscow's largest public exhibition spaces. The show was curated by Andre Leon Talley and attracted a lot of media attention. In 2010, the exhibition traveled to So Paulo, and in 2011, to the Pace Gallery in Beijing.

In 2010, Diane von Frstenberg was awarded a Gold Medal at the annual Queen Sofia Spanish Institute Gold Medal Gala.

In 2011, DVF introduced a home collection as well as a signature fragrance, DIANE.

In 2012, she launched her first children's collection with GapKids and a denim collaboration with CURRENT/ELLIOTT.

Her clothes have been worn by many celebrities including Michelle Obama, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Beckinsale, Madonna, Tina Brown, Jessica Alba, Susan Sarandon, and Jennifer Lopez.


Diane von Frstenberg is a Director of The Diller " von Frstenberg Family Foundation, a private foundation that provides philanthropic support to 501(c)3 non-profit organizations within the following sectors: Community Building, Education, Human Rights, Arts, Health and the Environment.

In 2010, Diane created The DvF Awards, which are presented annually to four women who display leadership, strength, and courage in their commitment to women's causes. Supported by The Diller " von Frstenberg Family Foundation, recipients are each granted $50,000 to further their work.

In 2011, The Diller " von Frstenberg Family Foundation made a $20 million commitment to the High Line, which is the largest single private contribution to a public park in New York City's history. The Diller " von Frstenberg family has donated a total of $35 million to the High Line to date.

Diane von Frstenberg sits on the board of Vital Voices, a women's leadership organization that empowers emerging women leaders and social entrepreneurs around the world. Diane is also an honorary director of the Housatonic Valley Association.

Pop culture

Von Frstenberg is referenced in Dolly Parton's 1981 song "Working Girl".

Von Frstenberg served as an inspiration for Andy Warhol, Julian Opie, Chuck Close, and many others and has been the subject of a number of artistic renderings.


At university, when she was 18, she met Prince Egon of Frstenberg, the elder son of a German prince and his first wife, an heiress to the Fiat automotive fortune and member of the Italian nobility. Married in 1969, the couple had two children, Prince Alexander father of her grandson, Dyllan,(born six months after their wedding) and Princess Tatiana, who were born in New York City. She is now the grandmother of three children. The Frstenbergs' marriage, though not popular with the groom's family because of the bride's Jewish ethnicity, was considered dynastic, and on her marriage Diane became Her Highness Princess Diane of Frstenberg, but is no longer entitled to use the title following her divorce and then her remarriage in 2001.

In 2001, she married American media mogul Barry Diller, with whom she had been involved, off and on, since the 1970s.

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