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Design & Style

Building Your Brand DNA

Diane von Furstenberg

Lesson time 10:36 min

From logos and names to building your brand portfolio, Diane breaks down how to craft your brand DNA.

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


When I was young, I mean, first of all, DNA had not been invented or at least it was not a word that we used. So clearly, we had no idea about building a DNA. Today, everything is about building a DNA. So what does it mean? It means building a personality. It means that your product is recognized because it has such a strong personality. I mean, a DVF wrap dress is recognizable by most people, even men or people who don't understand fashion. And that's what I think is important, is that your personality or the personality of the product comes out, and that is what you call a brand DNA. Stand for something and stick to it, even if you are bored with it. Stick to it, find babies, have them make babies, derivatives change it, but always stick to your DNA. It is important to create a brand portfolio, because it forces you to put all the things you need to. First of all, it shows your sense of graphism, the way you present it, so you understand you understand a lot from that, from the the presentation of a portfolio. You should have clearly a mission statement-- why am I doing this, what do I have to offer-- then you need a major focus on the product. Beautifully shot, if you have had any exposure in the press, it's nice also to see the product in the context of consumers and things like that. And then you should say what is your plan about what is your business plan. What is the distribution and how are you going about it, and what is your marketing strategy. That's what should be in a portfolio. The name of a brand sometimes is the starting point. People have a odd-- especially if it's like an odd name or something, and I mean, for example, I would think polo, right? I mean, for Ralph Lauren, polo was a symbol to be athletic, and glamorous, and upscale, and all of that. So he had a brand called polo. And he had a little polo on the shirt. So in my case, I didn't even think of it, and so it was my name, and it was just my signature. And then it stuck with me. And of course because it's a long name, and nobody can pronounce it, the initials and now the initials DVF, because when you deal with markets like China, they cannot pronounce it. So most designers use their own name and it seems like the normal thing to do. I've had many friends who have lost their names because they sold the company. So it's very important that if you trademark your name, you make sure that you own the trademark. And if you sell your company, well, it's nice if you can keep, somehow, the trademark separate from the company. So we talked about the name, and then logo, it's nice. Logos are nice especially when they are designed on their own, because then they're not too much in your face. But again, nice logo have to happen-- how can I say-- they have to happen organically. So logos, name, colors, very important. And then there's a mood that colors...

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.


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

It was extremely inspiring. I have learned to tailor my design dreams very individually and do what it right for men not anyone else.

I took this class to understand Brand development but also received the very best insight possible anywhere a budding entrepreneur could have. DVF is without a doubt the quintessential American woman who lived the America Dream, brought a great name but also contributed fully from the riches of her provenance and the strength of her outstanding work ethic. DVF is Truly a Master!

Diane Von Furstenberg is informative, insightful and inspiring throughout. It was a true pleasure, so much so that I will likely watch again!

I am very grateful for this class because I have learnt so much concerning the whole craft and business as a whole . For me been an upcoming designer , I think and believe that all the lessons will enlighten my whole career and of course the best practice to do . what am most happy about this lesson is the encouragement .. Thanks so much



Can somebody tell exactly what are the parts of a portfolio? I haveto create one for mi brand but she doesn't talk specifically about anything.

A fellow student

I love how raw and real DVF is, she tells it like it is. I appreciate this insight into her journey, she is a true inspiration. This is packed with great advice, this has been one of my favorite classes. Thank you!


I loved the content. Learned something I didn’t know before. And looking forward to do the work. Thank you and May you have a blessed life.

Giorgia D.

Building your own Portfolio is with no doubt a challenge! Also, I really liked the case studies that Diane showed so far.

tuphr N.

Hey this is great to hear all about the business side of things. Designing anything takes a lot of work and time and energy, so getting it to people is a top priority. It is competitive and knowing how to do it right is very tough and requires additional work after all the designing and testing out fabrics etc. I would say you need more than one person to make it a success.

A fellow student

"The dress is recognized even by men, people who don't understand fashion"... Lol :)

Fei W.

Simply pure joy and inspiration and eye-opening to watch! I work in the finance industry but find this course extremely useful for starting my own business - either a fashion brand or something else.

A fellow student

I enjoyed this lesson even though I'm not a designer. This information is transferable to many different creative professions.

Saurav N.

The presentation of your portfolio is also a mood board. It represents the mood that you are trying to evoke.

Gigi C.

love it. moving forward I'm building my brand to create a meaningful experience when wearing my pieces xo