Our next most powerful woman is, actually, a former princess. That’s right. Diane Von Fürstenberg was formerly known as Princess Diane zu Fürstenberg when she wedded German Prince Egon of Fürstenberg. And not until their divorce way back in 1972 was she not allowed to use her “princess” title – although she continued to use Fürstenberg as part of her name.
But then, who really is Forbes’ 74th most powerful woman?
Well, she’s actually a businesswoman. A Belgian-born American fashion designer who became known for her signature wrap dress. This dress was in fact introduced back in 1974. Oh…
Notice the years?
Though it was just 2 years after her divorce with Prince Egon when she came up with the “wrap dress”, Diane actually got into designing women’s clothes the following year after she got married with the prince. As she aptly put it, “The minute I knew I was about to be Egon’s wife, 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.”
After moving to New York, she met with famed Vogue editor Diana Vreeland who got swept by Diane’s designs. The ball started to roll after being listed on the Fashion Calendar for New York Fashion Week.
To date, the company is now a global fashion brand that offers four comprehensive collections a year. This same fashion company which she re-launched in 1997 as Diane Von Fürstenberg (DvF) can be found in over 70 countries and 45 free-standing shops worldwide.
Now what makes Diane special aside from being a remarkable fashion designer is not so much about her philanthropic works which are “expected” – but her ambition, and her courage to diversify in business.
Most girls who would have married a prince, a renowned leader or personality would have just remained at home – wasting their talents. Or not even doing something to help out in their husband’s undertakings.
Diane did not waste time.
The downside of her actions though could be her unfortunate separation with Prince Egon.
Many who have found their niche especially in the clothing arena would normally just stick to it. You know, clothing… soft… that’s how it’s stereotypically equated. Like some design geek would have just grown with that passion. Design. Put up boutiques. Sell. Join fashion shows. Design more. Sell more.
But not Diane, she was not just into clothes instead she branched out into other businesses like cosmetics, fragrances (like the popular Tatiana, named after her daughter), Salvy (a French-language publishing house), home-shopping, and jewelry among others. Always seeking opportunities and especially remaining focused til the re-launch of DvF in 1997.
In the end, if only for accomplishments and recognition in the fashion industry – Diane Von Fürstenberg has definitely made her mark. All she needs to do now … is keep up with that Vision.
What’s your take?