Diane von Furstenberg: Brand title took me by surprise
Diane von Furstenberg didn't even know what a "brand" was when she was dubbed one.
The fashion designer found fame thanks to her iconic wrap dress, which was introduced in 1974 and became her most popular piece. Her empire has evolved over the years to include cosmetics, jewellery and even television with her E! show House of DVF. Reflecting on her career beginnings, Diane had no idea her well thought out dreams would become so successful.
"The truth is that I was a brand before we knew what a brand was," she told Adweek. "I started my company with a dress, and I did not know what I wanted to do, but I knew the woman I wanted to be. I became that woman through that dress, and all of a sudden, I became a brand.
"Celebrating freedom, empowering women and inspiring confidence is what I am about as a person and as a brand. So that's one (part of the brand). The other part is mentoring. I speak to young women's groups and I tell women that you have to be the woman you want to be... I guess that how you maintain a global brand is with as much honesty and authenticity, coherence and sincerity as possible."
To keep her brand relevant, Diane ensures young women are the centre of everything she does. The star re-launched her company in 1997 with a new generation in mind and she believes the women of today have the same desires as they did almost 20 years ago.
One way she has managed to acquire a younger customer is through her TV show. For Diane, it was an obvious way to reach out to millennials.
"Strangely enough, the period of my life that I remember the most is that age between 22 and 30," she added. "That's when I did everything: I got married (to first husband Egon von Furstenberg), I had two children, I moved to America, I started the company, and I was a huge success.
"I did all of that before I was 30. And therefore, talking to girls that age is very important to me. I relate to them..."