Design Talks: Diane von Furstenberg

At W's annual Design Talks series at Art Basel Miami, Editor in Chief Stefano Tonchi sat down with friend and fashion icon Diane von Furstenberg for a candid discussion on career, family and becoming the woman she always wanted to be.

Released on 2/1/2013

Credits

Starring: Stefano Tonchi and Diane von Furstenberg

Transcript

00:01
(lighthearted music)
00:11
(upbeat music)
00:18
[Diane] I did not know when I was growing up,
00:20
what I wanted to do
00:22
but I knew the kind of woman I wanted to be.
00:25
I wanted to be a woman who could pay her bills,
00:29
who can go out with whoever she wants to
00:33
and just be independent.
00:36
(upbeat music)
00:38
Do you think that design,
00:40
is something that has always been your blood?
00:44
I went to work for an Italian fashion industrial man,
00:48
he printed for Feragamo, Gucci,
00:52
he made printed fur scarves.
00:55
So working with him there,
00:58
I learned everything about printing.
01:00
The people who design prints
01:02
have been doing that for generations.
01:05
You work with the colorists in the factory,
01:08
rather their father was a colorists,
01:10
the grandfather was a colorists.
01:12
So, even though they were workers
01:14
it was like working with little Michelangelo, you know?
01:18
Today I realized that I learned everything from him.
01:21
(upbeat music)
01:23
There is something about that wrap dress,
01:25
Yes.
01:26
People saw in it something special.
01:29
The wrap dress became this incredible, let's call it,
01:32
uniform for an independent woman.
01:34
I think it was sending a very specific right message
01:38
at the right moment.
01:39
There are women out there that were ready to wear
01:42
something that was covering up but revealing of the body-
01:46
The thing that's was the most amazing,
01:49
it's staying power.
01:51
The wrap dress is nothing more than a robe.
01:54
It existed before but it never existed [both] in jersey.
01:59
So that women felt like they were like a feline,
02:02
they felt like an animal.
02:05
And when a woman feels like an animal, good things happen.
02:09
(laughter)
02:09
(upbeat music)
02:12
I think you have always talked about,
02:14
empowering women.
02:16
I mean particular, you talked to me,
02:18
very recently about the idea of confidence,
02:21
it's really like the days of your career.
02:25
I want a woman when she opens her closet
02:29
and she's going for a date
02:31
or she has to make a presentation
02:33
or she has to ask for a raise.
02:37
She goes to her friend and she will go to DVF.
02:41
Because that's what we do, we give women confidence.
02:44
(upbeat music)
02:46
What do you like to collect?
02:47
I like to collect jewelry, yeah.
02:50
But you know a lot about jewelry.
02:52
I do.
02:53
So you have done some great collections of jewelry.
02:55
I do.
02:56
And I was married with two who loved buying me jewelry, yes.
03:01
What does jewelry and women to do with each other?
03:06
There is some fatal attraction.
03:08
Men like to see jewelry on their women
03:12
because its a sign of pride.
03:17
And I like big jewelry.
03:19
I like jewelry that are like weapons.
03:22
(laughter)
03:25
I do, I have some very dangerous rings.
03:28
(upbeat music)
03:31
Tell me just about the men important in your life,
03:35
for a second.
03:36
Okay, well I can tell you something.
03:38
And they are very different.
03:39
Yeah.
03:40
My mother gave me strength.
03:43
Because my mother was a Holocaust survivor
03:46
and she told me that fear was not an option.
03:50
But my father gave me love,
03:54
that made my relationship with men easy.
03:57
A very strong woman with a man that provides
04:00
somehow, the love and the support.
04:03
Yes because I was never needy
04:06
because he gave me so much love.
04:09
If you don't expect it, you receive more
04:12
or if you don't need it, you'll receive more.
04:15
I was lucky with that.
04:16
(upbeat music)
04:18
You are working on a new book.
04:20
I am.
04:21
And the title is [both] The Woman I Wanted to Be.
04:24
Are you that woman?
04:26
I am.
04:28
And I realize that, if I leave anything
04:31
is I hope that I can leave behind me
04:35
to tell every woman, what I have learned
04:38
is that you can be the woman you want to be
04:42
and to some degree in all countries
04:45
you can design your life.
04:48
(upbeat music)