Design & Style, Business

Diane’s Journey - Part 2

Diane von Furstenberg

Lesson time 15:22 min

Diane discusses how she launched—and re-launched—her iconic wrap dress.

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

Topics include: Finding Your Niche • Return of the Wrap Dress • Mistakes


I had my first hotel room in the Gotham Hotel. I took my first orders. And they were very tiny orders. They were 12 of this, and six of this, and 20 of this. And I then went back to the factory with my orders that I was so proud of. And he said, I can do that. I have a factory. I don't have a sample room. There is no way I can make them. And I would cry, and I would beg, and I would do whatever I want. And he said, OK. And he would try to do it. And then I would get shipped. And of course, when I got shipped, I did not know that you had to have the content of the fabric in English. And it was half . I had to cross. I went to the airport, and the warehouse, and it was cold, and I had to cross the Italian words and write English words. And then the packages came in. And what I ordered in red came in blue. And when it was a size 12, it was a size 8. And I shipped it all wrong. But because my order was very small, and I was very lucky, whatever I sold sold through. And so the next time around, six months later, when I would show up again in that same hotel, they bought a little more. And then came Bloomingdale's. And there was a big order. And they were talking about windows. And ads. And I had no idea what they're talking about. And I wasn't prepared. But you pretend. You pretend that you know, and pretend that you know, and then you don't know, and then you do know, because you throw yourself into it. And of course, I was young, and I was kind of pretty. And so they asked me if I would model for the clothes to do the ad, which was great because then I didn't have to pay for the model. So I did that. And two years happened. Two years went by where I did everything. I didn't have an office. I did everything out of my dining room, going back and forth in Italy, begging to be made, and this and that. Two years into it, I realized that there was a little traction. That I had something. But I really needed professional help. Don't be embarrassed by wanting to learn. Don't be embarrassed to go to somebody and say, can you please teach me, or can you please show me. So you have to be very, very open minded and create your network, and create the weave-- the people that you meet. Weave the people that you can connect with into a fabric, which will be the fabric of your life. I had a lawyer and I asked him to find me which are the three of the leading 7th Avenue firms that have many lines. And he came up with three names. The third man, Johnny Pomerantz from Leslie Fay, he was very nice to me. And he said to me, listen, you don't need us. All you need is to find a salesman, and you take a showroom on 7th avenue, and that's it. I said, I don't know any salesmen. Do you know anybody? And he said, let me think about it and come back in a week. And a week later I came back and he introduced me to ...

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.

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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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