Formerly Princess Diane of Furstenberg, she is a Belgian born American fashion designer. von Furnstenberg initially rose to prominence when she married into the German princely House of Furstenberg, as the wife of Prince Egon of Furstenberg. Of being a couple, “I never had time to imagine,” she said. “Soon there was a scandalous story about us in a magazine and on the cover was a beautiful picture of the two of us and our apartment, and it said, ‘The couple that has everything—but is everything enough?’ I read this article and saw the pictures—I looked at us, and I didn’t like what I saw. I thought, ‘I can’t take responsibility for us as a couple, I can only take responsibility for me.’ I felt then that we would have to separate.”
In 2001, she married American media mogul Barry Diller. She admits to proposing marriage to Diller, as she explains, “One year I didn’t know what to give him for his birthday and I called him and said, ‘You know, if you want, for your birthday I’ll marry you.’ And he said, ‘Let me see if I can arrange it.’ It’s what he always says, and he always arranges it. A week later we married at City Hall and he gave me 26 wedding rings, for the 26 years we had not been married.”
Diane confessed to Oprah in the December issue of O magazine that she doesn’t place as much value on being beautiful and instead focuses on other positive aspects of herself. “I don’t think it’s nice to think you’re beautiful,” she says. “You end up counting too much on it. I had to count on my personality. And my legs.” The things that she is most proud of are her children and the relationship she has with herself.
Diane Von Furstenberg’s company is now a global luxury lifestyle brand offering four complete collections a year. The company is in over 70 countries, with 85 stores worldwide. In 2005, the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) awarded her the Lifetime Achievement Award and the following year named her as president. As of 2014, she is listed as the 68th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes. Her clothes have been worn by many celebrities including Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Beckinsale, Madonna, Tina Brown, Jessica Alba, Susan Sarandon and Jennifer Lopez.
In E! Channel’s new reality series, House of DVF, Diane is in search for a Global Brand Ambassador. The position will help her to transition out of traveling the globe to promote the brand, while also finding a person who can connect with a younger generation. In the series, ten women are selected to potentially fill the role and each week, Diane eliminates a girl from the competition (though she does it with extreme compassion).
The fashion designer also just launched her second book, The Woman I Wanted to Be. Diane von Furstenberg wanted to be “the kind of woman who is independent and who doesn’t rely on a man to pay her bills,” she says.
In the book as in her reality series, she says her goal is to empower women. “I want every woman to know that she can be the woman she wants to be.” Diane elaborates on this topic in The Conversation with Amanda de Cadenet.