My Life In Travel: Diane von Furstenberg, fashion designer

'I'm a nature junkie: I love the wilderness'

First holiday memory?

Going to the North Sea coast of Belgium. I was born in Brussels so we would go to the seaside for our holidays when I was a child. My overriding memory is of the sand dunes.

Best holiday?

The most beautiful place I have ever seen in my life is Vanuatu in the South Pacific, which used to be called the New Hebrides when it was a British and French colony. My husband and I have a boat and we sailed around the islands for 10 days about a month ago. The sea and the vegetation on land were so beautiful and hardly anybody goes there so we almost had it all to ourselves. A lot of the time people were living without electricity, but I found it to be such a decent and attractive way of life.

Favourite place in the British Isles?

I love Oxfordshire because I went to boarding school there and also the wilderness of Scotland, which I find incredibly magical.

What have you learnt from your travels?

It's impossible to travel and not to learn. I love the fact that you are learning every single moment of every day when you are in a different place or country. I get a lot of inspiration for my work from my travels.

Ideal travelling companion?

First and foremost it would be myself, because it's easier. Otherwise I love travelling with my husband on our boat; and Christian Louboutin is great fun to travel with – I enjoy travelling with people who are curious about life.

Beach bum, culture vulture or adrenalin junkie?

None of those, I am a nature junkie. I love the wilderness.

Greatest travel luxury?

A great pair of hiking boots because I love walking. It's the best way to experience a place.

Holiday reading?

I love to read, particularly autobiographies.

Where has seduced you?

So many places. I fell in love with Indonesia the first time I went there. I started in Bali and then travelled all over the islands. The Komodo islands are pretty amazing.

Better to travel or arrive?

I like the feeling of going more than anything else. I love long trips and the condition of being in no-man's land between two places.

Worst hotel?

I have a very short-term memory when it comes to bad experiences; I tend to forget them.

Best hotel?

Claridge's in London is my favourite hotel in the world. I have been staying there for 30 years because it is the one place where you really get the feel of a grand hotel and life that doesn't exist in other hotels.

Favourite walk/swim/ride/drive?

I've hiked so many places in the world, including Machu Picchu and other great walks. However my favourite hike was climbing Stromboli, just off Sicily. There was something about climbing up the volcano that was more magical than any other walk I have done.

Best meal abroad?

Anywhere in Italy; the food is simply fantastic wherever you are.

First thing you do when you arrive somewhere new?

I unpack and then I go out and explore. I like to get lost in the streets.

Dream trip?

I haven't been to Mongolia and the Gobi desert, so that's where I'd love to go next.

Favourite city?

New York, but I also love Shanghai, Hong Kong and London. I love the scent of New York and the fact that you can get anything you want there. There's a feeling that anything is possible.

Where next?

I'm leaving London, then flying to Fiji for a holiday on our boat: I can't wait.

Diane von Furstenberg has designed a new series of hotel rooms inspired by her travels at Claridge's in Mayfair, London ( claridges.co.uk )

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Guru Careers: Dining Room Head Chef

    £32K: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Dining Room Head Chef to work for one of ...

    Guru Careers: Pastry Sous Chef / Experienced Pastry Chef

    £27K: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Pastry Sous Chef / Experienced Pastry Che...

    Ashdown Group: Technical IT Manager - North London - Growing business

    £40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A growing business that has been ope...

    Recruitment Genius: Technical Supervisor

    £24800 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As one of London's leading Muse...

    Day In a Page

    General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

    'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

    In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
    VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

    How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

    Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
    They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

    Typefaces still matter in the digital age

    A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
    Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

    'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

    New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
    The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

    Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

    Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
    Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

    Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

    Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
    Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

    Crisp sales are in decline

    As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
    Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

    Ronald McDonald the muse

    A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
    13 best picnic blankets

    13 best picnic blankets

    Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
    Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

    Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

    Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
    Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

    Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

    Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
    General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

    Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

    He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
    General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

    On the margins

    From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
    Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

    'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

    Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
    Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

    Why patients must rely less on doctors

    Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'