Diane Von Furstenberg – A SUCCESS STORY
“I wanted to be an independent woman, a woman who could pay for her bills, a woman who could run her own life–and I became that woman.”_diane von furstenberg
Fürstenberg was born as Diane Simone Michelle Halfin in Brussels, Belgium, to Jewish parents. Her father was Romania-born Leon (Lipa) Halfin, who had migrated to Belgium in 1929 from Chişinău.Her mother was Greek-born Liliane Nahmias, a Holocaust survivor. 18 months before Fürstenberg was born, her mother was a prisoner at Auschwitz concentration camp. Furstenberg has spoken broadly about her mother’s influence in her life, crediting her with teaching her that “fear is not an option”.
Fürstenberg attended Madrid University before transferring to the University of Geneva to study economics.She then moved to Paris and worked as an assistant to fashion photographer’s agent, Albert Koski. She left Paris for Italy to work as an apprentice to the textile manufacturer Angelo Ferretti in his factory, where she learned about cut, color and fabric. It was here that she designed and produced her first silk jersey dresses.
Diane von Furstenberg entered the world of fashion in 1970 when she moved to New York and, two years later, founded her eponymous line. In 1974, the Belgium born designer created the wrap dress, which came to symbolize power and independence for a generation of women and helped establish Diane as a legendary and crucial fixture in the industry. By 1976, more than five million dresses had been sold and Diane, at only 29 years old, was featured on the cover of Newsweek.
In 1997, Diane re-launched the brand with renewed vitality, and went on to receive numerous accolades including the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), of which she now serves as Chairman. Diane still holds the title of Chairman and Founder of Diane von Furstenberg, and also serves on the boards of Vital Voices; the Statue of Liberty – Ellis Island Foundation, Inc.; and The Shed, a new center for artistic and cultural innovation in New York City. Diane’s 2014 memoir, The Woman I Wanted to Be, has been translated into five languages, and in 2015 she was named one of TIME’s 100 Most Influential People.
At university, when she was 18, she met Prince Egon of Fürstenberg, the elder son of Prince Tassilo zu Fürstenberg, a German Roman Catholic prince, and his first wife, Clara Agnelli, an heiress to the Fiat automotive fortune and member of the Italian nobility. Married in 1969, the couple had two children, Prince Alexander, and Princess Tatiana, who were born in New York City. She is now the grandmother of four, including Princess Talita.
The Fürstenbergs’ marriage, although unpopular with the groom’s family because of the bride’s Jewish ethnicity, was considered dynastic, and on her marriage she became Her Serene Highness Princess Diane of Fürstenberg.However, she lost any claim to the title following her divorce and her 2001 remarriage.
In 2001, she married American media mogul Barry Diller
“Even if I had failed, I would have no regrets. I now realize that you only regret the things you don’t do.”_diane von furstenberg