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Design & Style

Developing Your Product - Part 1

Diane von Furstenberg

Lesson time 16:42 min

Learn how to find inspiration for your designs. Art, nature, and color can all play a part in how your brand differentiates itself in the marketplace.

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.


Where did I always look for inspiration? It was either women-- nothing has inspired me more than women. The best thing is you go out, and you see these little girls wearing this with that. That's an inspiration. Art is always. For me, Matisse with whom I share the same birthday, the pilot of Matisse. Nature, because in nature, you have all the beautiful colors, the textures. What is more beautiful than the texture of a bark? What is more beautiful than the design of a leaf? What is more beautiful than all these things-- the flower, the colors, the color combination? You can never go wrong. When I first came to America in the '70s, it was a wonderful time to be young, because we thought we invented freedom because living in New York City was very cheap. So there were a lot of artists. There were a lot of creative people. There was a lot of experimental things. I was young somewhere between pills and AIDS, so sex was very free. There was a lot of nudity on Broadway. There was a lot of rock and roll. There was hallucinogens. I mean, there was there was a lot of freedom. But also because I was young, so to some degree, when you are young, you are inspired by what you live. Inspiration is everything. It's about looking, smelling, hearing. It's about life. It could start with a drawing, it could start with a picture, it could start with the mood. Whatever it is, it's called a mood board. So you could put on that board anything that will focus and that will explain the vision that you have. And then the next thing that comes out is the color palette. And then from the color palette, then you do the prints, and then you do the styles, and that's how the collection goes. So some people do great mood boards, and some people do less great mood boards. It's important because it's a teamwork, so that is the board that everybody looks at. The knit designer will go into it, and everybody. So it has the one vision and the one narrative. And the mood board is probably one of the first things that they teach you at fashion school. I never went to fashion school, so I never learned that. But it becomes so obvious that everything has to be funneled into one source of inspiration. And then, of course, with the storytelling later, when you deal with how you talk about it, how you tell your sales people, how you sell it, how you communicate it, it is more and more important. So the more your mood board is evocative, the more you can incubate it, the stronger, it will be. Most designers love to work on black or on white. Most designers don't necessarily love color so much. And by the way, black is always your best seller-- everything on black. But the color is very, very important. And when you work with color, it is very important to make the balance of color. So if you have a print, then you will us...

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.

Loved it so much. Diane Von Furstenberg has been my idol for fashion for years. She is amazing and her class was amazing. I wanted it to be longer. I will watch it several times.

What a powerful and inspiring woman! She really has real, practical advice for people starting out. Doesn't sugar coat anything.

What a journey through Diane's Mind. I could watch the classes over and over again and I will. Looking forward to downloading the workbooks now.

I've already manufactured and sold a couple of designs. I've watched hundreds of classes and kjnow-how tutorials. THIS one is my Top 3 of all time. If there's any chance of saying this I just want to say: Thank You Mrs Diane!



Love DVF and how she say it as it is - there is never a Job that is too small there are only stupid people. I find the assignment an interesting one. I guide women business leaders and entrepreneurs to excel with compromising the lifestyle they desire and I am inspired by her approach to creative expression in the work I do.

Fabia F.

I love the DVF Brand and I found the class insightful, While I am not in fashion but in the not for profit sector I find that there are cross lessons in product development that she teaches that everyone can benefit from. In my industry a mood board translates to a vision board and it is indeed a fantastic tool for visioning.

Lilla K.

Loved assignment one. I had predisposed ideas of which brands I liked and what style I liked.. but the more I applied this exercise not only to one but several brands the more it gave me the ability to see each designer house vision and inspiration and what I actually liked and didn't like. Foremost it helped to shape my own. The exercise I think will help brands in genera. not just fashion designer..

Giorgia D.

The funniest part of the process, I believe is the MOOD-BOARD itself. The amount of creativity involved in this process is so explosive and it makes you feel free! It gives you a feeling of freedom as all the things you've been thinking on and that have been inspiring you daily are putting on a board. Will definitely do this assignment with joy! PS: I believe that whatever is the business you're concentrating on, a mood-board always comes to hand and helps you reorganising your own ideas.

Martha B.

Brilliant specially when she says there is never a Job that is too small there are only stupid people

francisco R.

Good afternoon. It seems to have a problem with the .PDF for Chapter 3: it does not download and I wonder who can give me support. Has this been reported yet? Thank you. Rosa Ines Medina

A fellow student

Hi everybody. A friend of mine a professional photographer asked me to sew a red dress for photo shootings in Rome. Here is my mood board for this project. The key words are passion, seduction, infinity

karina M.

Hi! this is my moodboard : soft, femenine, free spirit, looking for details .

A fellow student

I'm envisioning my mood board. I also like nature and animal prints yet I like solid colors together with a statement accessory like a scarf or jewelry. A lot to think about...

Deya T.

Even though I'm not a fashion designer, what you taught me so far, will help me in our business as a Italian purse store. I loved the first lesson. Focusing on the intention made realize where and why we are going where we are going. And also to not have my focus on the wrong things. Thank you for sharing your wealth of wisdom.