Wrapped up in success

Wrapped up in success

Forty years after her first jersey wrap dress, Diane von Furstenberg still sets a dynamic pace.

In January, the Belgium-born American designer held the retrospective exhibition Journey Of A Dress to mark the 40th anniversary of her iconic wrap dress in Los Angeles.

The 67-year-old will also launch two books next month - a coffee-table one chronicling the Journey Of A Dress and a tell-all memoir titled The Woman I Wanted To Be.

To top it off, she has a new reality TV show called House Of DVF, in which eight young women vie for the top job of global ambassador for the Diane von Furstenberg brand.

Aged between 19 and 25, the women are tasked with challenges in every department of the company, from merchandising to design to public relations.

House Of DVF premieres on Nov 4 at 10pm on E! (StarHub TV Channel 441).

On why she took the plunge into the world of reality TV, the mother of two said in a telephone interview!: "I'd been offered to do this for years and years, and I always said no because I didn't understand why I should. Then one day, I decided with the marketing department that we were going to look for a young girl to become a brand ambassador and someone said that should be a TV show," she said.

The show is a fresh opportunity to directly advise young women as well. "I love to mentor young girls at the beginning of their lives. We all remember how it is with so many doors in front of you and you don't know which door is best.

"I care about these girls. One of the things that I didn't like about such reality shows is that they usually objectify women and the b***h is the one who wins. But this show is not like that at all, we become family. Now that the filming of the show is over, they still write to me."

Her advice to anyone aspiring to work in the fashion industry, she said, applies to anybody.

"The most important relationship in life is the one you have with yourself. Be true to yourself. It is not something that happens overnight, it is a practice and you have to be demanding on yourself," she said.

"No one criticises me more than I do. And I think that is good and productive."

The winner of the show will start work officially at the DVF office in January.

Von Furstenberg's dynamism and media savviness have helped to keep her brand relevant through the years.

She arrived in New York in 1969 as one half of a royal couple. Then, she was married to Swiss-born Prince Egon von Furstenberg. The couple separated in 1973, but she kept his name and, by then, had already started her own eponymous label.

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