Stay up to date with the latest from MAKERS delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for new stories from trailblazing women, a big dose of inspiration, and exclusive MAKERS content.

Newsletter Confirmation

Thank you for joining! Please check your inbox for our special welcome letter
with exclusive updates from MAKERS.

MAKERS Profile

Diane von Furstenberg

Iconic Fashion Designer

More From Diane

In this video

Diane von Furstenberg on her breakout success, career rebirth, and embracing women's strength and femininity.

Diane's Biography

Cause of Choice: Vital Voices
First Paying Job: Receptionist
Her Groundbreakers: Marlene Dietrich and Mother Teresa
Fitting the First Lady: Michelle Obama, in her first holiday card from the White House, wore a re-issued print of Von Furstenberg's very first wrap dress.

Diane Halfin, the daughter of a Holocaust survivor, was just out of school and already working when she married into the House of Furstenberg in 1969. Not content to idle as Princess von Furstenberg, she later recalled, “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." She was the mother of two small children by the time the knitted jersey “wrap dress” made her a sensation in 1973. Now enshrined in the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the garment was a fun, sexy, accessible item - the best of the 1970s, right off the rack. It came to symbolize power and independence for an entire generation of women.  By 1976, she had sold over a million.
Von Furstenberg was the toast of New York in those years, a perfect Warhol muse. She retreated during the 1980s, but re-emerged in thrilling form. Her creative and business lives have again flourished, but she perhaps thrives most as a good citizen. She's President of the Council of Fashion Designers of America and a member of the board of Vital Voices, supporting female leaders and entrepreneurs worldwide. In 2010, with the Diller-von Furstenberg Family Foundation, Diane established the DVF Awards to honor and provide grants to women who have displayed leadership, strength and courage in their commitment to their causes.

Related Videos

Priya Haji
Priya Haji
Social Innovator

// Priya Haji passed away at the age of 44 on July 14, 2014. Prior to her passing, she spoke with MAKERS about her career and passion for social innovation. // By the age of 16, P...

Alice Walker
Alice Walker
Pulitzer Prize Winning Author

Growing up in the South prior to and during the Civil Rights Movement, had a major impact on the life and career of novelist, poet, and activist, Alice Walker. The eighth child of ...

Linda Bray
Linda Bray
Captain, US Army (Ret)

Captain Linda Bray was the first woman to lead US troops into battle, during the invasion of Panama in 1989. In 1982, she joined the ROTC. In 83, she was assigned to duty in German...

Gloria Steinem
Gloria Steinem
Feminist Activist

Groundbreaking writer, lecturer, editor and activist, Gloria Steinem has been looked to as the popular face of the women's movement for over four decades. She was a buzzed-abou...