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Diane von Furstenberg: ‘I created the dress that is still around after almost 50 years. That’s sustainable fashion’

The legendary fashion designer speaks to Olivia Petter about feminism, owning it in the workplace, and why people are still wearing her iconic wrap dresses

Friday 12 March 2021 16:19
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<p>Designer Diane Von Furstenberg walks the runway during New York Fashion Week</p>

Designer Diane Von Furstenberg walks the runway during New York Fashion Week

T

he age-old myth of “having it all” might be more harmful than it is helpful, but that’s not to say it isn’t possible to achieve. At least, that’s what Diane von Furstenberg thinks. “Women are so used to balance, that’s what the feminine energy is about,” she tells me over the phone from her country home in Connecticut, where she’s spent most of the pandemic. We’re discussing motherhood and the art of juggling that alongside a fledgeling career, something Von Furstenberg, who credits her career success to becoming a mother at the age of 22, has done with aplomb. “That’s a part of who we are and what makes us special,” she says. “Balancing things is part of our DNA. You think men could have periods every month?”

It’s not hard to see why the 74-year-old Belgian designer is one of the most revered figures in the fashion industry. Acerbic, warm, and phenomenally accomplished, Von Furstenberg – or “DVF”, as she’s affectionately called – is best known for her namesake label founded in 1972 off the back of what would quickly become one of the most recognisable designs in fashion history: the wrap dress.

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