Avant-garde, visionary, entrepreneur at heart, Diane von Fürstenberg embodies the american dream. A symbol of women's freedom and independence, the unavoidable wrap-dress has sold more than 10 million copies since its launch in 1974. In 2012, Forbes magazine presents it as the most influential woman in the world. the world of fashion. At the head of The Diller - von Fürstenberg Family Foundation, which supports charities in fields such as art, the environment, human rights and education, the designer also launched the DVF Awards in 2010. , which reward with an annual scholarship of 50,000 dollars women who have advanced the cause of women. Recently, its New York brand DVF announced that it was going to abandon fur, a commitment that marks the sustainable development implemented by the brand with the support of the Council of Fashion Designers of America.
How did your story begin with fashion?
Diane von Fürstenberg: I did not particularly want to work in fashion. I did not really know what I was going to do but I knew what kind of woman I wanted to be and what kind of life I wanted to lead. I aspired above all to be independent. I first worked for Albert Koski, the French producer, I was his assistant. He was at the time agent of photographers. I knew Helmut Newton ... Then I worked for an Italian industrialist, Angelo Ferretti, who had a printing factory.
Which compliment did you most touched?
This is a question that I have never been asked ... I would say that what always makes me the greatest pleasure is to inspire and give confidence.
What are your plans for DVF?
We went back to the original concept. DVF are beautiful pieces for all circumstances. For a modern woman who wants to work, go out ... It is above all the practical side but sophisticated and pretty. The essential, always with lightness and humor.
What does France represent for you?
This is where I got my first relationship with fashion. I was 9 years old, I took the train all alone and I went to visit my aunt who had a shop on rue La Boétie. I helped him to fold the sweaters. Otherwise, for me, Paris is the literary city, it's the books ... I had a publishing house in Paris in the past. Paris is also friends.
Why did you engage in the project of the new Statue of Liberty Museum in New York?
It's a long story. It had been a long time since I wanted to join the board of the foundation that deals with Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. At first, I did not really want to. I read a lot of books about history and I learned about the role of Victor Hugo, Gustave Eiffel and many others involved. It is by referring to one of my books that the president of this foundation convinced me. He read a passage where my mother, who was deported, wrote this word to me : " God saved me so that I can give you life. In giving you life you gave me mine. You are my torch of freedom. "I finally agreed and I raised several million dollars for this project.
What does the Statue of Liberty symbolize for you?
It belongs to everyone, it represents the freedom and the mother of the exiles. I think she has real power and her torch can be seen as a magic wand.
What does the concept of immigration mean for you?
She rhymes with tolerance. My parents are refugees. Myself, I am an immigrant. I am a lover of freedom and tolerance.
Have you always been a philanthropist?
Philanthropy comes with age. What worries me most is women. I launched the DVF Awards nearly a decade ago to honor women who have shown leadership, strength and courage in their field.
What is your motto?
Fear is not an option. (Fear is not an option, ed.)
How do you describe yourself?
Warrior, honest, energetic, provocative, mother, grandmother and friend.
How do you see yourself in ten years?
I hope to be always there and I hope to build a platform to help women achieve themselves.