At one of the exclusive rooftop venues in LA, I recently joined with the Beverly Hills high-society and the American fashion industry heads for a special night with Diane Von Furstenberg. The event took place at the same time as the first ever fashion trade show ReMode which showcased two days of speakers from all over the world bringing together the most innovative thoughts and techniques being used across the globe in the industry.
"The most important relationship is the relationship you have with yourself"
The private night with "DVF" was organised by Tania Fares (writer for Vogue UK) for the CFDA bringing recognition to The Fashion Trust, raising funds and awareness for emerging American fashion designers. With no more than 30 elite guests, it was a very private event giving everyone the chance to mingle with the remarkable lady herself.
She then took to the front of the gathering where for forty minutes she captivated the audience while she was interviewed. I was completely absorbed to hear her raw, unedited, honest answers where she held nothing back. It will remain one of the most remarkable interviews I have been part of; her advice was so touching I wanted to take a moment to share my favourite quotes from the night (and yes of course I was wearing a DVF dress...!!)
THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN LIFE
Quote: "The most important thing (yes I know I say this over and over!) and the only lesson that matters in life is this: the most important relationship is the relationship you have with yourself. This advice is everything; as this is what builds your character and that what makes you who you are. You could lose everything your health, your wealth, your children…you could lose everything; but you never lose your character (even under torture!). So here is what you must remember; you must first have a good relationship with yourself and every other relationship is a plus and not a must."
"You must first have a good relationship with yourself and every other relationship is a plus and not a must."
Quote: "Insecurity is a complete waste of time, plus when you start you have nothing to lose! You know life is like a journey even when you are very successful, it does not keep going up and up and up. You go through setbacks, things happen. The most important thing to remember is when you come across a problem first of all you should not be delusional and you should really face it and own it. Then the minute you own it you need to think; OK because that happened it will now allow me to do something else instead. You then need to turn around and do something alternative that works out. So often you don’t even remember that the good things came out of a set back. So in summary: you should always remember you have to own any mistakes then not to be delusional and finally you need to accept and correct."
BALANCING MOTHERHOOD AND A CAREER
Quote: "Well it all happened all at once; I was 22 when I got pregnant (pregnant first married after) then I started my business and then I had another baby. I had two babies in 13 months and all of a sudden I had everything and had to manage it all at the same time. I think it is very important for woman to have children and I also think it is very important for women to have an identity outside the house. Yes it is a lot of work! But yes; it’s worth it. You just have to do it and know that they can do it too."
ON STUDIO 54
Quote: "Let me just tell you; if you were young in the 70’s it was a lot of fun because you were stuck somehow between the discovery of HIV/Aids and the pill; so we were very free. There is nothing more to say, we were very free and it was a lot of fun. Studio 54 only lasted 2 years and I never stayed too late nor was I going to the basement doing drugs. I didn’t do that as I had children at home and because I lived with my mother at that stage; but of course I managed to squeeze in a little fun."
"We were very free and it was a lot of fun"
ADVICE FOR NEW DESIGNERS
Quote: "You need to have talent and you need to have a point of view. You also need to have a lot of will power and to believe in what you are doing. Then you just need to go for it!"
At this small, private event (with no press/media access) Diana also spoke of overcoming cancer, on how her business was launched, failed (and) successful relationships, her first visits to New York and she also went into detail explaining the first time she truly felt like she was a "man trapped in a woman's body" (with the most interesting chain of events with certain famous people involved in a Beverly Hills hotel). These were such special memories, so much so that I feel best not shared so publicly. But WOW she surprised us with her honesty!!
What certainly stood out was her eagerness to help the next generation with her role at the CFDA and with The Fashion Trust. The way her answers were worded; honest and so open we could really see her aim is to give back and build up the next generation. I think this is so admirable and along with many of her other tips I picked up on the night, I too try to give back whenever possible and pass on whatever knowledge I can if it will help someone else on their way up.
Thanks DVF - what an amazing night x