Furstenberg: Femininity a business asset

Last updated 05:00 23/01/2014
Diane Von Furstenberg
Reuters

FASHION DESIGNER: Diane Von Furstenberg poses at the opening of the Journey of a Dress exhibition in Los Angeles.

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Diane von Furstenberg says being a woman in business is an "asset".

The eminent fashion designer recently celebrated a milestone in her career when her famous wrap dress turned 40.

Her iconic design was the subject of its own exhibition earlier this month, with Journey of a Dress showcasing the wrap frock over the past four decades.

Von Furstenberg credits part of her enduring success to being a woman in the industry.

"Being a woman in business has always been an asset and never a liability. Perhaps because I had my own company I never had to deal with too much prejudice," she explained to Britain's Grazia magazine.

"We women know how to manoeuvre in life - right from having to deal with period pain and getting on with our day, we are flexible and in that we have the edge. But that's not to say I don't love men. Because I really love men."

She also cites her mother with inspiring her to achieve.

After a difficult early life, Von Furstenberg's mum went on to teach her young daughter what she needed to do to succeed, and ignited the designer's desire to do so.

"I always wanted to be independent because my mother was a prisoner of war and she survived the concentration camps; freedom was very, very important," she recalled.

"She instilled in me two things: to be fearless and independent, both financially and emotionally."

Now one of the best known names in the fashion industry, the Belgian designer takes pride in her glamorous life.

And although she can't pin-point the exact reason why her wrap dress continues to be so popular, she is glad that it's something her whole family can enjoy.

"I always wanted to be glamorous. Glamour is shine, it's all about attitude. Big glasses, some animal print and being alluring in the way you move your body are all good starts," she laughed.

"You can't say what has made this dress so enduring ... not everything starts with a logo or a marketing plan. But this exhibition includes dresses that my mother wore, that I wore and my daughter and granddaughters. And that says something I think."

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