diane von furstenberg wrap dress chainlinkCaptains of Industry: Diane von Furstenberg with Norman Pearlstine

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well thanks very much for joining us tonight for our captains of industry series I will say that it is true that the older I get the younger my consumer base is and thats actually very flattering and its much much better than Botox and today somebody sent me a wonderful wonderful wonderful quote so this is the first time Im actually saying that Picasso apparently says said it takes a long time to get to be young so anyway so what is different a lot is different and at the same time nothing is different I am in the business of when I first when I first started first of all when I grew up I you dont mind if I buy fur : can I see her please when when I when I was growing up as a teenager I didnt really know what I wanted to do but I knew the kind of woman I wanted to be I wanted to be a woman who was driving her own bus a woman who could pay for her who could pay for her life a woman who was in charge of her life where did that come from the independence yes I think now I know that I look back I think that the fact that my mother was a prisoner in the most absolutely horrible way and probably had a lot to do with it my mother always pushed me to be independent she always the her best lesson that she taught me is that she would not allow me ever to be a friend fear was not an option if I was afraid of the dark she would put me in the closet in a dark closet and I cried a little bit and then after a while I realized there was no reason to be afraid of the dark so it may not be politically correct but it was very efficient so I so I always she always pushed me she always pushed me when I was nine years old I want you know she might see I want to see my aunt visit my aunt in Paris she put me alone in the Train and of course there it was picked up I mean she always pushed me to be independent and and I independence is the most important for me and it still is I still like to travel alone I still like to I love the feeling of I was just being independent and free anyway so so I didnt know what I wanted to do but I did know the kind of woman I wanted to become and I I met this Italian man who was a big in in the in the fashion industry in Italy and he was very flamboyant and he had my Maserati and and they had three factories and one Factory was a printing plant he used to print scarves for Gucci and Ferragamo and whatnot so I learned everything about printing and colors and all the technique of printing he had another factory which made t-shirts so it was an itching Factory so I learned everything about jersey fabric and and I learned I didnt think at the time I thought that I was doing nothing but I learned everything and everything from this man and then he had another factory where he made where he made nightgown and very easy kind of thing and so I was internship you know doing an internship with him and following him around and he had a little crush on me but that wasnt important and but I had a boyfriend in Italy in America I had met him at University in Geneva Egon Furstenberg and he was doing an internship for Chase Manhattan Bank in New York and so I went to visit him in New York I and I spent about two months and there in New York I had never been I I discovered a whole world of it was New York at the time it was 1969 New York was very poor New York was very cheap to live in so there were a lot of a lot of creative people it was the end of the 60s it was we thought we had invented freedom and everything was possible and then in fashion there was there was an interesting movement I mean they were little young designers like Halston and Giorgio Santangelo and all of these people and so I discovered this this incredible world where everything seemed possible and I did a little modeling while I was there visiting my boyfriend and then I went back to the factory and and then a few months later few months passed and then my boyfriend came to visit me and we met in Rome and in Rome we got engaged so we had a big party for our engagement and then after that he went around to India went around the world with a friend of his as young boys sometimes and and so I would say I stayed back in the in Italy with in the factories going for in one factory to the other with the Maserati and and one day Im traveling with the Maserati and Im feeling a little nauseous and I think its a Maserati but it turned out that I was pregnant and so all of a sudden you know I say oh my god Im pregnant and I so much wanted to be independent so I I didnt really know what I I was very confused and were not gonna go into a discussion about pro-choice but I was very confused about what to do and so I had since I was engaged I had to send him a telegram and send him a telegram got back and then so were getting married in mid-july organize everything and I thought oh no and then I thought this is you know I was very much in love with him but I really wanted to be independent so I asked my boss I said listen Im gonna move to America Im going to get married and have a baby but do you think that I could make I would like my I mean since Im going to America I would like to maybe can I make a few samples in your factory and I will try to sell them in America and he said yes and so I thats what what I did and of course I mean you know I I was they had no experience no knowledge you know when the fact we would close I would stay with a pattern maker and take the fabric that was available made a few dresses and I came to America and what about and thats thats so thats how I got into fashion you 92Y Lectures: Diane von Furstenberg first arrived in the fashion world in 1972 with her iconic wrap dress, coming to symbolize female power and freedom. In 1997, after a hiatus from fashion, Diane reemerged on the New York fashion scene with the re-launch of the dress that had started it all and began building her company into a global luxury lifestyle brand. Today, the DVF collection includes ready-to-wear, shoes, handbags, accessories, eyewear, swim, DVF by H. Stern fine jewelry and watches, rugs and luggage. In 2005, Diane was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America CFDA, and was later elected the CFDAs new president, an office she continues to hold. In the video clip here, Diane tells the story of how she first got started.