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In New York City in the 1970s, if Andy Warhol painted a picture of you, you knew you’d made it. Although, in the case of Diane von Furstenberg, having already been married to a Prince, selling over a million of her signature dresses and donning the cover of Newsweek, we get the feeling she may have already had an inkling. Born Diane Simone Michelle Halfin to a Romanian father and Greek mother in Brussels, Belgium, Diane grew up with a strong sense of pride and a yearning for knowledge. She was transferred between boarding schools in Switzerland and Oxfordshire from the age of 12, before going on to study Economics at The University of Geneva. It was here where Diane’s life truly took a turn when she was introduced to Prince Eduard Egon von Furstenberg; the man she would go on to marry in 1969. Yes, that means that Diane Halfin of Brussels became Princess Diane von Furstenberg, a title she held until their divorce in 1972 and her subsequent marriage to husband Barry Diller in 2001. The Prince and Princess bore two children, Alexandre and Tatiana who have since dubbed Furstenberg with one more title; Grandma.
After her divorce, Diane moved to New York City where she began her fashion career with the now iconic wrap dress; something that would rocket her to fame and fortune that no one could have predicted. The company has had its ups and downs in the past near four decades, but after a relaunch in 1997, it seems DVF is here to stay. Furstenberg was awarded the Geoffrey Beane Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005 before being named President of the CFDA the following year. With this title Diane has fought mercilessly to put an end to design piracy, underweight models, and the unfortunate lack of racial diversity on the runways. In 2009 she was immortalized with an exhibit entitled Diane: Journey of a Dress which took place in Moscow’s largest public exhibition space and was curated by Vogue contributor and ANTM judge Andre Leon Talley. Her collections continue to succeed, raking in $200 million in revenues last year alone. She currently resides in her Meatpacking District home above her studio with husband Barry Diller.