Diane von Furstenberg is now focused on her “third act” and leaving behind a lasting legacy.
The Belgian-born fashion designer redefined womenswear with the launch of her iconic wrap dress in 1974, and has gone on to outfit the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Lopez and former U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama.
Diane handed over the creative reins of her business to Nathan Jenden earlier this year (18) and she has now spoken about how she wants to use her platform to promote causes close to her heart.
“I don’t want to do another colour palette,” she told The Washington Post. “I’ve had three acts. The first was the American Dream, the young girl coming to New York, the wrap dress, blah, blah, blah. The second: I started over. Now, I’ve been thinking, now is the time for the third act. How do I turn this into a legacy, so the legacy will last after me?”
She has undertaken a number of philanthropic endeavours in recent years, including acting as a director on The Diller – von Furstenberg Family Foundation, which provides support to non-profit organisations in the area of community building, education, human rights, arts and health, as well as being a board member for Vital Voices, a women’s leadership organisation.
And the fashion star, who will receive the Swarovski Award for Positive Change at the 2018 Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) Awards on Monday night (04Jun18), has shared how she is determined to inspire the next generation of women in business.
“Now everyone talks about authenticity and honesty. It’s easy for me. I’ve never lied – not about (my business) going up and down. I’ve always shared it,” the 71-year-old insisted. “In the beginning, people said, ‘Who is this princess from Europe who makes inexpensive dresses? Who is this woman?’ My plan was always to be a bit provocative to get attention and be very, very honest.”
Diane, who was once married to Prince Egon von Furstenberg, went on to explain that she is determined to continue finding “fulfilment” in her work. However, the global fashion icon admitted that she is sometimes amazed by her achievements too.
“Ageing is a big deal. I pretend that I think ageing is wonderful. And it is. (Yet), I wake up in the morning and say, ‘I’ve changed.’ I’ve lived so fully. I should be 140,” she laughed.
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