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Women Who Run the World: Diane von Furstenberg

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at American chapter.


Her Campus American has covered notable ladies, from a groundbreaking politician to First Lady Jackie O, in celebration of Women’s History Month. As March winds down, we must talk about designer Diane von Furstenberg. The icon’s wrap dress remains a timeless staple for women across the world. The von Furstenberg wrap reached its 40th anniversary this year, but the woman behind the frock is still a powerhouse. 

DVF launched the wrap dress in 1974. She wanted women to feel powerful at the workplace without having to wear pantsuits everyday.  The formula worked. By 1976, a million dresses were sold. The same year, von Furstenberg landed the cover of Newsweek and was called the next Coco Chanel. The Belgium native spent the rest of the decade at the top of her game. She even called Andy Warhol and Bianca Jagger, icons in their own right, her close friends.

Like any designer, DVF hit a few rough patches, but her brand resurfaced in the 1990s. Aside from consistent showings at fashion week, von Furstenberg takes time to back women’s rights. She created the DVF Awards, which recognizes ladies who fight injustices like human trafficking and domestic violence. Von Furstenberg also supports Vital Voices, an organization that is all about building up female entrepreneurs. She is the president of the Council of Fashion Designers of America. (CFDA just announced that this year’s Icon Award goes to another powerhouse– Rihanna!)

An exhibit dedicated to the wrap dress and DVF opened this year at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. On display, there is a tribute to the wrap’s original chain-link print. The print is a compliment to DVF’s style: equal parts strong and feminine.

Rachel Zoe’s thoughts on von Furstenberg sum up her impact. “She revolutionized the way women got dressed and how they looked at themselves.”

What are you waiting for? Channel your inner DVF girl and save* up for a wrap dress. 

*This may take a few years. Or a decade.


Photo Credits:

The Guardian