Delve into the inner workings and enigmatic culture of fashion, from the perspective of the fashion industry’s most talented, successful, legendary and iconic personalities today—up close and personal through these fascinating in-depth interviews and conversations.
The wrap dress that Diane von Furstenberg created came to represent both effortless elegance and power and independence for women. She has gone on to build a world-wide luxury lifestyle brand which offers four complete collections a year and includes shoes, handbags, jewelry, perfume, eyewear and more. As president of the Council of Fashion Designers of America she has fostered emerging talent and established the Design Piracy Prohibition Act. She is also a philanthropist and involved in New York City landmark preservation.
Award-winning creator and organizer of Fashion Week in New York and cities around the world, Fern Mallis has been an industry game changer in the world of fashion and design for 32 years. Former senior VP of IMG Fashion, and executive director of CFDA, she hosts fashion industry talk show “Fashion Insiders w/Fern Mallis” on SiriusXM’s flagship celebrity talk channel STARS. She’s currently president of her own leading international fashion and design consultancy—Fern Mallis LLC.
This event is part of the Ruth Stanton Illustrious Women Series, supported by The Ruth Stanton Foundation.
Diane von Furstenberg first entered the fashion world in 1972 with a suitcase full of jersey dresses. Two years later, she created the wrap dress, which came to symbolize power and independence for an entire generation of women. By 1976, she had sold over a million of the dresses and was featured on the cover of Newsweek. In 1997, after a hiatus from fashion, Diane reemerged on the New York fashion scene with the relaunch of the iconic dress that had started it all and reestablished her company as the global luxury lifestyle brand that it is today. DVF is now sold in over 70 countries worldwide, and has 54 freestanding shops.
The wrap dress, and its symbolism of effortless elegance and empowerment, is integral to the DVF fashion brand, which now offers four complete collections a year. The full range of accessories extends to shoes, handbags, small leather goods, scarves, eyewear, fine jewelry, watches and luggage. In 2010, DVF debuted a home collection, encompassing tabletop, bedding and rugs. Fall 2011 saw the global launch of a signature scent, DIANE the fragrance.
In 2005, Diane received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) for her impact on fashion, and one year later was elected the CFDA’s president, an office she continues to hold. In this significant role she has dedicated herself to fostering emerging talent and helping to establish the Design Piracy Prohibition Act, which protects designers from counterfeit reproductions of their work.
Diane’s commitment to empowering women is expressed not only through fashion but also philanthropy and mentorship. She sits on the board of Vital Voices, a non-governmental organization that supports female leaders and entrepreneurs around the world. 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.
As a longtime resident of New York’s Meatpacking District, Diane is a vocal member of the local community and was actively involved in the campaign to save the historic High Line railway. The city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission has heralded her flagship building on 14th Street as a “new model of adaptive reuse for the city,” for blending an original structure with new design incorporating recycled materials and sustainable elements.
Diane is married to Barry Diller. She has two children, Alexander and Tatiana, and three grandchildren. With all of her successes, Diane happily maintains, “Children are my greatest creation.”