Entrepreneur Diane Von Furstenberg

In 1972, the iconic wrap dress was born. Diane Von Furstenberg, originally from Belgium, pursued her American Dream shortly after moving to New York City with her husband, Prince Egon of Furstenberg. A few years into their move to New York, Diane and Egon Von Furstenberg separated. Eager to become financially independent with her two children, Von Furstenberg started her entrepreneurial endeavors by selling the wrap dress.

As Von Furstenberg started off running with the wrap dress, she had no plans. With no business school background or official business plan set out, she followed her instinct and pursued her vision. In Von Furstenberg’s biography, she talks a lot about her mother’s influence on her character and life decisions. From an early age, Von Furstenberg’s mother did not let her daughter have fear. Her entrepreneurial endeavors that started out merely for her chance at and goals of independence and self-achievement developed over the years with her fearless personality, passion and desire for the sense of importance that Von Furstenberg attributes to her mother.

In the late 1970s, women were starting to feel empowered and that is exactly what the wrap dress represented on women. This dress was one that looked professional, yet still accentuating a woman’s figure. The dress was effortless and she created a demand for it with the help of an Italian manufacturer who believed in her vision and passion. Von Furstenberg’s dress was the hottest trend; every woman wanted the dress. This was the start.

As the fashion world works, the DVF wrap dress had saturated the market. As the trend faded, the company took the hit financially. With her entrepreneurial spirit, Von Furstenberg looked to license out her brand in order to keep afloat. This was Von Furstenberg’s form of slowly exiting. At this time in her life, she was ready to step aside from the company, as she was unsure as to what she wanted for the brand, the company, and her life.

In 1992, Von Furstenberg was done with her soul searching and was ready to revamp the wrap dress with her re-born confidence. The timing was right, as she started to see many women turning to vintage stores to buy the wrap dress. Timing is essential in any entrepreneurs’ life; Von Furstenberg was lucky enough to have the time and her new contemporary vision meet.  Initially, she returned to the industry with QVC, but quickly diverted from that route. Von Furstenberg collaborated with creative directors and a strong team to organize a contemporary line.

The contemporary line is what has built the empire that DVF is today. Her family at first was hesitant to allow for this vision to be seen all the way through as they did not want to continue to undergo year-end losses year after year. However, Von Furstenberg followed through with an extraordinary brand that resonates well with its buyers and remains competitive in its marketplace.

Today, Von Furstenberg is a strong businesswoman who is a role model to many aspiring and existing entrepreneurs and women in the work field. DVF designs are now sold in more than 55 countries and her empire continues to expand worldwide.

Aside from her business endeavors today, she is remarried to Barry Diller and has two grown children with families of their own. Barry, Diane, and her children are all now involved in the Diller-von Furstenberg Family Foundation, where they manage the family money. Von Furstenberg believes who she is today and her successes are not only credited to her fearlessness, but also to the relationships with her business, her love lives, her mother and father, and especially her children and grandchildren. Each of her experiences with these special people in her life have influenced Von Furstenberg to fulfill her dream of being an independent woman, allowing her to leave behind an incredible legacy that goes far beyond its foundation, the wrap dress.