Fashion icon: DVF



Designer Diane von Furstenberg poses for a photograph in Shanghai, China, on Monday, March 28, 2011. Von Furstenberg, who made marketing her clothes in China a New Year resolution, plans to sell products online as part her efforts to win more customers in the world's second-biggest economy. Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg *** Local Caption *** Diane von Furstenberg ORG XMIT: 111120470

“Wrap dress,” “empowerment,” “philanthropy”: over the years, these phrases have become synonymous with thoughts of fashion icon Diane von Furstenberg.

Entering the industry in 1970, DVF has made great strides in establishing both herself and her luxury brand in the world of couture, and her collection at this year’s New York Fashion Week was no exception to what has become a long legacy of successful styling.

In 1974, von Furstenberg created the wrap dress and sold over a million in the first two years.  Her company, a global luxury lifestyle brand, has expanded over the years to a full collection of ready-to-wear clothing and accessories, such as jewelry, handbags and shoes.  With 132 DVF stores, she has made quite the name for herself.  In 2005, von Furstenberg received the coveted and highly prized Lifetime Achievement Award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), further securing her place in fashion history.

In addition to her design and retail success, over the course of her career, DVF has committed herself to empowering women.  “The first advice I give anybody is that the most important relationship in life is the one you have with yourself.  And therefore you have to be very true to yourself, demanding on yourself, hard on yourself,” she told People magazine.  She continued, saying, “I am a feminist, and … I really want every woman to be strong and know that she can be the woman she wants to be.”  DVF acts as a role model for girls around the world.  She has proven that with hard work and commitment, you can accomplish anything – even building your own fashion empire.

As an entrepreneur, von Furstenberg spends some of her time working with Vital Voices, an organization that supports female entrepreneurs and leaders around the world.  In addition, she and her husband created the Diller-von Furstenberg Family Foundation and the DVF Award.  This award, according to DVF, awards grants to women “who have had the courage to fight the power, to survive, and the leadership to inspire – Women who have transformed the lives of others through their commitment, resources and visibility.”

While she has her classic looks to fall back on, von Furstenberg does a beautiful job of switching things up when it comes to presenting her latest collections.  This past New York Fashion Week was no exception, as she showcased her Fall/Winter Ready-to-Wear at the House of DVF.  The evening was unconventional – supermodels had a dance party rather than saunter down a catwalk.  Vogue says, “the world’s biggest models – Gigi Hadid, Karlie Kloss, Kendall Jenner, Jourdan Dunn, etc. – were dancing to disco music as the designer clapped along and occasionally was persuaded to join them. The platform they were boogying on was surrounded by easily a hundred camera phone–wielding guests.”  As the show took place on Valentine’s Day, the set consisted of an adorable lip couch and makeup mirror.  The idea behind the entire evening seemed to be celebrating life and celebrating one another as women.  Lily Aldridge told E! News, “It was a really special night.  I have to say it was one of the most special memories because it was so different for us and it was really nice.”

DVF will be remembered for far more than her wrap dress—her signature piece that launched her fashion legacy.  Her passion, efforts towards empowerment and kind heart will long outlive her physical contributions to the world of fashion.  The impact she has made along the way to greatness will have greater staying power than any item of clothing ever has, and that’s something to truly idolize and admire.

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