Design & Style, Business

Brand Extensions

Diane von Furstenberg

Lesson time 11:35 min

Careful collaborations can drive your brand's growth. Diane shares her techniques for selecting brand partnerships, and avoiding pitfalls.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Licensing vs. Collaboration • Name Ownership • Relaunching Your Brand


Because, I mean, this is something that you use. It's for the woman. There's an awful lot of women who use Tatiana. And they have this. And I mean, you can't shut this in your bag. You get in . The revolutionary little dress is still the main staple of the von Furstenberg empire, but now a new line of cosmetics and jewelry has been added. This is good. Usually when you begin to be successful and have made a name for yourself-- little name-- big name-- you will be offered to do licensing-- licensing deals. Licensing means that there are some companies that make, let's say, eyewear, right? Eyewear company will come. And they will say, we would like your name. We would like your brand in order to put it on eyewear. And then they usually pay you, sometimes a minimum guarantee, and the royalty. According to how valuable your brand is, your bigger your royalty will be. Licensing business is a great business because you have very little risk and you make money. And it enhances your brand. That is the good things. The bad things is that you don't always have control, even though you try to make a contract where you get a lot of control, very often you don't have the control. Or maybe they don't respect it. So it means that you may have designs that you don't really want or you don't really like. Or the distribution may be a little larger than you expected. And so you have to be very careful at choosing your licensing. Sometimes you have great license that elevates your brand, like when I did my collaboration license deal with H. Stern for the fine jewelry. That elevated my brand. And it introduced my brand in Brazil. So you have to be careful and choosy. And then sometimes you go for a brand that has a much wider distribution because you do it for money. And it's very important that, again, it's the purpose of the company that you sign a licensing with have the same purpose as you-- that everybody is aligned. And that is the most important thing to do. License is a long-term contract. Collaboration is a short-term thing. For example, I didn't do a license with GAP. But I had a great collaboration with GAP for children's wear. And it was very successful. And it made a lot of money. And everybody was happy. But I didn't really want to have a license with them because otherwise it would become too [? much ?] for too long. But if I kept it as a collaboration for two seasons, you created a sense of urgency. And it wasn't spread too out. So you have to play very carefully. 1975 is when I had the idea of going into the beauty business because my fashion business was doing so well. I was going from public personal appearances to personal appearance. So I thought this would be great, you know, to also get closer to the women. Because I had such an amazing relationship with the women-...

About the Instructor

In her 20s, Diane Von Furstenberg convinced a textile factory owner in Italy to let her produce her first designs. With those samples, she flew to New York City to build one of the world’s most iconic and enduring fashion brands. In her first online fashion design class, Diane teaches you how to build a brand. You’ll learn how to create a visual identity, build loyalty, stay true to your vision, and launch your product.

Featured Masterclass Instructor

Diane von Furstenberg

In 17 video lessons, Diane von Furstenberg will teach you how to build and market your fashion brand.

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