THE REIGN OF DVF
The world of women’s fashion was forever changed when Diane Von Furstenberg decided that business wear could be beautiful in addition to being practical. In 1974, she debuted the never seen before “wrap dress” at New York Fashion week. Despite the cut-throat audience, it was an immediate success: DVF’s initial design sold over 3 million garments, and her reign was only beginning.
DVF catalyzed a fashion renaissance for women through her creations; the classic wrap dress not only allows for ample self expression through its cutting edge design, but also provides a professionally femme fit for the modern workplace. Over the past four decades, her brand has exploded around the world, and DVF has dominated the industry with her vibrant patterns, lustrous fabrics, and endless colorways.
In the midst of her career, DVF has also created a dynasty. Her granddaughter, Talita Von Furstenburg, has recently begun designing and launched a collection through DVF’s platform: “TVF for DVF”. With an emphasis on feminine and romantic pieces, her collection of alluring dresses are descendents of the original wrap.
In an interview with Forbes magazine, Talita was asked why she felt inclined to be a part of the DVF brand and responded by saying that she loves “being able to provide a fresh perspective for the brand, and speak to a younger demographic with [her] capsule collections.” Currently studying the future and business of fashion at NYU, Talita is on track to continue bringing talent and admiration to the Von Furstenburg name.
Not only is Talita’s contribution a strong continuation for the Von Furstenberg family, but it was also critical for the business behind the brand. Since 2015, DVF’s company has lost customers at a rapid rate. Since market demographics are ever changing, it seems DVF just couldn’t keep up with newer and shinier brands. The Coronavirus pandemic didn’t help matters—the company filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy, and liquidated many assets in response to their money matters. After closing many stores in the U.S. and laying off a number of employees, Von Furstenburg herself recently put out a statement saying that she felt only family could carry on her true vision for the brand. Talita’s collection sold out, and her youthful eye is generating hope for breathing life back into DVF’s doors. Von Furstenberg’s commitment to her company truly demonstrates her poise and power, illustrating that there is equally as much to learn from her failures as there is from her achievements.
Despite the recent financial challenge, DVF’s accomplishments span beyond her designs. In 2019, Von Furstenburg was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame and has dedicated her life to radiating her female founding energy upon other women. This past year, she wrote an A-Z advice book titled Own It: The Secret to Life. In this personal memoir, DVF unleashes her secrets to success and pushes her readers to reach their full potential.
Take the letter C for example, whereby DVF recalls the word character. “Character is the one and only thing we have total control of - we can lose our health, wealth, beauty, family or freedom, but we never lose our character. Our character is our strength, the house inside ourselves.” The book covers every letter of the alphabet, leaving little room to shy away from owning our own character, confidence, courage and creativity.
Aside from her new book, Von Furstenburg founded the recent campaign “Women InCharge”, a conversational panel featuring women from every industry, including STEM, fashion, politics, and medicine. In February of 2020, just before the pandemic hit, I had the privilege of attending this convention in NYC. It is safe to say that it was one of the most encouraging days of my life; I learned so much about myself, and about other awe-inspiring women who shared their stories and expressed their voices. I have the utmost respect for DVF, and watching her command the room with her own it attitude only solidified her iconic aura. She has a fire lit within her, and her legacy is an empire of strong women who wear her wrap dress uniform as an emblem of empowerment.
To commemorate the special day, DVF carefully crafted a necklace that read “InCharge” in beautiful cursive letters. I bring the necklace with me almost everywhere, and it is a walking reminder that I—we—can own our lives, and remain InCharge of our destiny.