Diane von Furstenberg

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 14 March, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 14 March, 2004, 12:00am

Who? Belgium-born designer Diane von Furstenberg has been a steady fixture in the American fashion scene since she moved to New York in the 70s. Her iconic wrap jersey dresses were an instant hit and her label sold five million dresses in 1976, a few years after her launch in 1972. The DVF label is showing no signs of waning as celebrities such as Jennifer Aniston, Gwyneth Paltrow and Julianne Moore have been spotted in her classic, body clinging, printed frocks.

How did it happen? Born in Brussels, Furstenberg attended school in England and Switzerland, where she later pursued an economics degree. She married Prince Eduard Egon von und zu Furstenberg in Geneva. In 1972, the designer went to New York and after borrowing US$30,000 from her father, started a fashion business designing her signature wrap dresses. Her designs became an instant sensation and her label was adored by the likes of Diana Vreeland, Bianca Jagger and Liza Minnelli. The 80s were less successful for the DVF label and the designer moved to Paris to start Salvy, a French-language publishing house. In 2000, she launched her sportswear label and in 2001, she opened a boutique in New York's West Village. Furstenberg's clothes are sold in more than 50 countries and last year she launched Diane von Furstenberg Beauty, a range of colourful cosmetics and beauty products.

What do the clothes look like? Combining the seemingly dichotomous elements of functionality and sexiness, the signature DVF collection consists of slinky wrap dresses that flatter most body types, sensual chiffon tops and her ensembles exude the confident, feminine spirit of the modern woman.

What does the designer say? 'I surround myself with young people, I design for young people and that is the best way to age. It's all about attitude.'

Where are the clothes available? Diane von Furstenberg is available in Hong Kong at Joyce and Lane Crawford.