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Design & Style

Mental Toughness

Diane von Furstenberg

Lesson time 12:52 min

Diane discusses failure and the importance of being true to yourself.

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.


I just want to be able to know that I can help myself. I don't expect anything from coming like that, just falling on me. I like to work for the things that I have and then be left in peace. Money doesn't buy happiness, but it sure helps. Three years ago, Von Furstenberg separated from the prince and now spends her spare time and energy with her two children at her 53-acre country estate, the kingdom she earned for herself by spinning three little wrap jersey dresses into solid gold. In order to understand and to explain my life and my career and the person that I am, I think we have to go to the war, World War II in Belgium. The fact that my mother was a survivor and she had needed so much strength to survive and so much courage to fight, and that she formed her daughter, like she didn't want her daughter ever to be afraid of anything. So I guess that that's what I was raised on, and that explains a lot of my character. Whether it is for your career or for your life, it's about building your character because you could lose everything. You could lose your job, you could lose your parents, you could lose your wealth, you could even lose your health. But you never will lose your character. So everything that you should always do is everything you can to build your character. And it does not get built in one day. It's little efforts after other efforts after other efforts after other efforts, and being in charge, in charge of your life, however it is. However difficult it is sometimes, there's collective madness out there, or there's bad things. But your character is something that no one can ever take away. I can never say enough the importance of being true to yourself. And how does one become true to yourself? Well, it's practice. It's every day. It's just you cannot lie to yourself ever. And it's hard. But you have to. You have to accept who you are. You have to figure out what you want, how you want it. But you really have-- it's like pruning or cleaning the pipes. It's an every day-- you have to prune the trees however often. You have to clean the pipes however often. You have to be close to yourself. You have to be close to who you are, what you want, how you want it, and not be delusional because no matter what, no matter what happens, failure, success, what, you will always be with yourself. And therefore you have to be your best friend. You have to count on yourself first. You could be helped, you could be guided, you could be mentored, you could be all of that. But at the end, you have the keys to your destiny, and that is important. The French designer Christiane LaCroix once told me, women designers design clothes. Men designers design costume. Now I'm not sure it's completely right, but there's something right about that. For example, men designers, as a rule, do not like jersey because if you look at a piece of jersey versus a...

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.

Mrs. Furstenberg is remarkable as a professional and as a leader in such a competitive industry. I really enjoyed her Life Advice portion of the course. Thank you for sharing your wisdom!

Found the story of her career, towards the end of the lesson, to be the most insightful. Great class.

It has been inspiring hearing Diane's story firsthand; her successes as well as her failures. Taking this class has re-affirmed my belief in myself and what I'm doing and has given me the encouragement to keep pushing. Thank you Diane!!

She is very inspireing and nice to listen at.



Wow. I've watched countless podcasts, read a number of books, watched various videos on mental toughness -this is definitely one of most, powerful ones.


Wow, I think there’s a consensus here in reading the comments below. This lesson is so powerful. Diane speaks about authenticity and truly “leads by example”. I think this is the kind of inspiration and encouragement all of us are craving when we watch a Masterclass ... Her vulnerability and emotion in sharing is refreshing. It also helps me understand more why she is a bit “tough” on the students/portfolios in the previous lessons — it seems natural now that she would expect a clarity of vision and a practical discussion, and that it’s irritating to witness those who are swept up by the guise of industry glamour. This was filmed in 2017 but I find it completely relevant now, even in this time of hardship. Really very effective.

Melody M.

I appreciate the straight talk, honesty and strong values. She's an amazing entrepreneur and fashion icon. Love her quote " deal with your strength with delicacy."

Antonella G.

I love this clear-minded woman. I would really love to be able to speak as simple, sharp and clear as she does.

tuphr N.

this lesson is deep, I'm finding Diane's advice is very spiritual. And there is a certain amount of Psychology involved with creativity that makes success a little more difficult than in other industries. It's so nice to learn how I can work through setbacks, which if you are a creative person, can be totally debilitating if you don't manage them.


Amazing woman! she gives extraordinary advice for life and business in a very natural and authentic way. I will keep reviewing this lesson to internalise these key concepts. Thank you!

Rocio T.

How I admire and love this woman. She not only teaches you techniques, she teaches you how to walk in life. Thank you Masterclass for including her for me.

cornelia F.

i like this lesson, The mentor really inspiring me. Mrs Diane Von Furstenberg's story strengthen the dream of us, i learned that character is a treasure that no one can ever take away.

Gabriel C.

"It is your life, your journey.... be true to yourself and you will be fine" I like this sentenced I like the comment where Mrs. Von Furstenberg talks about setbacks and failures as a normal part of life. She also underlines how setbacks force us to analyze why we are in the non-favorable situation and do something about it. These are clear and powerful advice.

Gabriel C.

I love this lesson. I feels she talks so passionately about her experiences that she inspires me to go out and conquer the world. I like the part where she says to be strong and fearless but not be bossy or loud. You do not need to. The best results come when you are true to yourself and believe in what you do.