The Greatest Lesson from Diane Von Furstenburg

Diane Von Furstenburg

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While Diane Von Furstenburg is no doubt a legend in the fashion industry, the greatest things I learned from her were in her books.

In her book, “Diane, A Signature Life” (Simon & Schuster, 1998) she talks about moving to Paris and becoming a writer’s muse and companion. She also talks about how she willingly chose to change her inimitable style to please a man. She later learned that was wrong and instead a woman must remain true to who she is. “I began to understand the universal truth – rather late- that when a woman loses the power of her own personality, she loses what attracted the man to her in the first place. She becomes the docile, passive person she thinks he wants, and then he is attracted by another shiny person”.

I think many women make this mistake of dressing to please others, be it a man or a woman. In the fashion world, we are constantly bombarded with images of how we ‘should’ dress, or items we ‘need’ to buy.

In Europe, women usually find their style much younger, and remain loyal it. Perhaps because in general media has less of a stronghold there, and instead things like family and culture play a larger role in developing ones own sense of style. The higher price of clothing and cost of living there also discourages frivolous purchases, and the popularity of “throw away fashion”. Albeit, these are changing rapidly, partly bolstered by the rise of social media.

Hopefully, this is one trend that will make its way to North America. The people I most admire are the ones that remain true to themselves, and have their own sense of style, and who don’t waiver from season to season. Because, as Diane Von Furstenburg is frequently quoted as saying, “the most important relationship any of us will ever have is with ourselves”. Well Said.

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