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Design & Style

Product and Market Research

Diane von Furstenberg

Lesson time 13:54 min

Diane explains the importance of market research, how to identify gaps in product offerings, and ways to measure up your competition.

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.


So some of you are taking this class with no schooling into fashion. So you may not understand that not only you have to learn to have a product that is nice, but it has to fit in the marketplace. So it has to make sense. It has to have a value on its own. It has to have an originality. All of those things are things I would like to address with you. Today, thanks to the internet, it's very easy to do your research. If you have an idea of doing a certain kind of thing, you could research on the internet and see where your competition is-- see where it's done, how it's done, how much is it. What you do, does it have any value? Why? How? All of these things are things you have to do before you come out with something. Coming out with something does not necessarily have to be a huge come-out. Sometimes, you try one thing. You have a little thing and you go to a boutique near your home, and maybe you put it there on consignment, see if it works. See the reaction of people. That is market research. One of the things that is exciting also about today is local vs. global, because as the world is more and more global, and therefore the notion of nation disappears, the tribal, the more local, is very important. So my advice for you would be, wherever you are, focus a little bit on your local. Because strangely enough, the very local thing that you thought was so uninteresting may be the thing that is the most interesting out there. If you have an idea-- or you may have a product already-- and you want to know how to market it, that's when you look at your competitors. That's when you look at the market place. That's where you see, OK, how can I give my product a personality, a name, something that's catchy, that I can play and that I can tell an authentic story? Because storytelling is very important, too. Dealing with competition is always very important. Very scary, but important to deal with in any business. So when you do something, or when you design something, clearly you have to ask, does it exist? At what price? Why would mine be better? Does it make any sense? What is your edge? What is it that you bring that is special? That's the most important thing. If it isn't unique, if it looks like everybody else, and if your price isn't any better, then you have no chance. All right. So the next portfolio is-- the brand is called Nicha, and it's a lovely Thai girl called Sutini. Steenie And it is real clothes, nice dressy clothes. If you are from Thailand, and you have the most interesting beautiful weaves in Thailand, why don't you apply these clothes using the very beautiful weaves and fabrics that are in your local market? You have beautiful Thai silks. You have beautiful weaves. You have beautiful ribbons. You have beautiful-- all kinds of things to use your design and use the incredible c...

Design Your Brand

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.

The class has helped me to see the details instead of just the big picture.

Such a great class! I loved how honest and straight forward she was. I wholeheartedly appreciate all of her advice. I was able to take a lot from this lesson, and looking forward to utilizing the workbook for future references.

She is a great person whose vision is more than her fashion business. She is an entrepreneur and a very courageous, confident businesswomen

Diane's style forever will stay with me after her lessons. She is gracious, beautiful & survivor in life & fashion. I will watch it again!


A fellow student

At around 11:09 DVF talks about creating a small detail or logo as a way to 'not be copied' in reference to a portfolio of clothes that are more gender-fluid, less ornate. I think this is great advice-- especially for designers who use more simple designs/patterns.

Victoria M.

This lesson was very interesting because I never thought a brand had a personality. But now that it's brought up in this discussion it explains why certain consumers are attracted to certain brands. Personally, I love Miuccia Prada, Calvin Klein, Michael Kors, Lilly Pulitzer, and of course DVF, but until now I didn't know that the personality of the brands also fits my personality.

Stefano Z.

Very inspirational words..I just wished there were more concrete "selling at the right price"is a very general definition..perhaps less portfolios but more in depth..but overall very good value lessons.

Dario Hamlet L.

Good morning Ms. Van. Fusterberg, hope you are doing well. I’m Dario Luciano, a fashion designer seeking to learn from a master as yourself. I have a bachelors degree in fine arts - fashion design. I’m currently seeking an opportunity for employment as a production assistant . Eventually want to create my own business for women of 40-70 years old because most designers focus on the youngster and leave that market unattended. Here is my email address: Respectfully, Dario Luciano

Eliana B.

Love the lesson. I’m applying it to skin care products and is a perfect fit. “A product has a reason to be” a product you remember. Very inspiring and motivating. You are a master. Thank you, Eliana

Calandra C.

I want to design because I truly love the craftsmanship of designing, especially in studying techniques of the couture masters, and constructing clothing. It's fascinating. I'm also an artist--and want to be recognized as such--colors, painting and creativity is exciting. When I'm able to meld my loves into something beautiful--it brings me joy and I want to share that joy with others. I appreciate the Ms. von Furstenberg wasn't ashamed to admit she never went to fashion school. I am older and self-taught--I feel that the folks I'm around frown at me for those reasons because they're not "educated" to know that age (Dior hit it big at 47--(and many present designers-still in the business-are much older today) I'm in my 50s) and being self-taught aren't "bad" in relationship to fashion design. I also appreciate the discussion on finding your own unique niche. Thank you, DVF

Damiana P.

I am so pleased to have this insight from you. It's been so great. Damiana Paternoster Shamanic Chic®

A fellow student

I was looking for more examples to help illustrate her points in the beginning of the class and now the portfolio's she's sharing is just right. Thanks


Dear Diane, Can I get the step by step by pdf what are the pages for the portfolio. I see visionary and concept only.

akiyo O.

Dear Diane, Thank you for sharing your experience and your knowledge. I am a fashion student studying textile. I have started taking your class since yesterday. Every single word you mentioned here is very meaningful to me and inspiring. From lesson 5, I found My DNA, that is to hold fabric like Japanese origami and create a garment. I have always wanted to apply my local Kyoto treasures and interpret into a modernizing style that fit into a global market and bring people aware of my hometown beautiful traditional crafts and culture. I decided to focus on those. I work hard on that! Thank you for guiding me. With love, akiyo