The Belgian-born, European-educated Diane von Furstenberg may be best known for her iconic jersey wrap dress introduced in 1974, reprised in 1997, and a hit both times among women who wanted an easy, affordable, and stylish “uniform.” The dress is in the permanent collection of the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She is also well known for another of her significant contributions to the fashion industry — for serving as the president of the Council of Fashion Designers of America since 2006.
Ever entrepreneurial, von Furstenberg launched offshoots of her core business over the years creating a fragrance named for daughter Tatiana, a cosmetics line, a home shopping business, and ultimately a couture house in 1984. She relaunched her fashion business in the late ’90s and has been expanding ever since, to the point where her fashion and accessories are sold in 70 countries worldwide and in 85 of her own freestanding stores.
She began a jewelry collaboration with the fine jeweler H. Stern in 2006 and produced an 18K gold line, called the DvF Collection, characterized by rock crystals set with the flat side of the cabochon up and the rounded side downward, to add depth and dimension. Another grouping for H. Stern is called “Sutra,” marked by messages such as love, laughter, life, freedom, harmony, and other words of serenity and peace. They are scripted in her own hand and she calls these mini-communications “sutras,” hence the name.
Her own company’s jewelry is a costume line mostly in gilt metal and features bold pieces that are typically accented with leather, chains, or faux enamel, and often constructed with links, toggle closures, bold breast-plate-style necklace ornaments, and other fun and lively motifs.