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Design & Style

Student Session: Catherine

Diane von Furstenberg

Lesson time 9:45 min

Diane and a student discuss inspiration, influences, and career dreams.

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.


All right, so Catherine Fourier-- so you're a little bit Italian? Yes, I am. Yes, yes. So when you were a little girl, and you drew your first fashion design, what was it? I think it was overall bellbottoms, and I think I wanted not just to be a round circle at the bell shape, but what if it was a triangle at the hem? I think colors are very important to me. And growing up, who is the fashion-- if you could work with any fashion designer, who is the fashion designer that you associate the most with? I would say Nicolas Ghesquiere, and I would say Hussein Chalayan. OK, so your taste is very geometric? Yes, I would-- Sculptural? --say geometric, sculptural, but then I love the craft of something. I love the hand embellishments. I love the runway. I love conceptual things. I love taking it to another level. So it is about being sculptural? Yes, I would say so. So how old are you now? I am 31 right now. OK, and so what is your goal, your dream? My dream would-- to have my own line, mainly because, to put the creativity not just from a design perspective, but from a holistic approach of how a company may be run, how the employees are taken care. Yes, so go more. So you would like to start your own brand. And what would your brand bring? I mean, why would it be different than anyone? I think, for me, because I am a woman, I know what a woman wants. I think I'm very a forward thinker. I feel trends before they arrive. I'm very fearless and confident. I think, for from my brand, it would really be about delivering a product that makes a woman feel beautiful and confident. But it's very-- I mean, what would you like to learn from me? And what would you like to ask me? Because now you're showing me a very nice line that you're working on, and it's sportswear. But it's the brand that you design for. So obviously, you have learned how to match the fabrics, how to do specs, and all of that. This is very good, but it does not really explain to me too much about your intention and what-- it's a very good sportswear line. These are beautiful. All right, so you are a very good sportswear designer? Yes, I would say so. OK, so then this, for example, is very nice. It's very beautiful. So I mean, where do you go from here, and where would you like to go from here? I think I love learning, in general. I think I was part of our Chicago Fashion Incubator. I was a class of '09. And there, they help launch a brand. I started designing, obviously, during a financial crisis. And I think then, I mean, I was buying more conceptual stuff to really sculpt with. But I think, because of the climate of the industry and at that point, I think I got a rude awakening and a taste of numbers are important, and buys are important, and sell-throughs are important-- so how does knowing that and unde...

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.

This allowed to hear from an icon of what it took to make in decades past. It is now a whole different world. Her statement about character is absolutely accurate.

Diana is a very inspiring Woman and as she said "let´s do it"

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

A true Mentor for all ages!! Grazie Diane, bellissima Masterclass


Alexandre B.

Diane interrupts Catherine all the time.......... She also tells her to keep working for someone. So discouraging! By the end, Catherine is not smiling at all... She is totally misunderstood.

Rocio T.

I love the blose Catherine is wearing, the color and the special features, great design, I wonder... who is the designer. Dian'es blouse is gorgeous, but we know where it comes from. It's tough to let your strengths blossom in a world full of competitors but alas if you're good, you can make it!

Daluli O.

Fantastic Diane trying to make Catherine goes to the point in a professional and reasonable way Awesome

Saurav N.

Men want to wear shirts that DVF is wearing. But there is no marketing campaigning that would make men wear them and not feel girly. Samurais wore beautiful clothes and makeup but that culture dose not exists anymore. How sad !

A fellow student

Very nice advice. Any one form any endeavor if they are excellent at what they do would have given guidance in a similar tone and line.


My first design was a Slogan T-shirt ... I am a positive person and I am obsessed with making the world a better place to live. So I started my own brand making Positive Slogan T-shirts made with Organic cotton - certified GOTS. I started to studi Sustainable fashion and my brand goes in this way absolutely.

Meg N.

Knowing where your strengths are, and how to work from there is key. I think I am more of an "intrapreneur" than and entrepreneur, but find myself out beyond where I can find a company to work for. My father designed jewelry, and I usually wear one or two of his pieces every day - as a teenager I couldn't figure out why he never "went anywhere" with his talent and skill in that area, but now I seem to be where he was then. I have the advantage of Master Classes and different media, and need to figure out how I can "go somewhere" with what I can do, and not end up frustrated or bitter.

Latasha M.

So much information to relate to. It's time to start directing life in steps so we will move forward in success.

Valerie L.

I am not a fashion designer but I am developing my own brand in the eco-friendly industry. The questions that Diane asked were extremely important to answer (I recently met a business investor and strategist that asked me pretty much the same questions. For me, my vision is - to build a brand that empowers others to do something different from the status quo. My main mission with this brand is to bring awareness to the way we consume plastic products. I found that many people are either not aware of it (and just living the way everybody else does) or want to do something but do not feel like they have the power to make any changes. I want to bring people who share the same vision together, and by together, we could create a bigger influence for others to notice our plastic pollution and the impact of consumerism. All while, reminding people that we are bigger than our environment, if we believe in something, if we have a vision for something, we could stand by it and create the change that we want to see. My strength is my resourcefulness. I am good at getting resources from different places, different people and I'm currently learning how to connect them all together. I used to do everything myself but now I have people who want to be a part of what I am creating so learning how to create and build my team would be a very important thing for me to learn and excel at.

Noelia P.

Hi there, it is a good exercise to ask ourselves some questions. Personally, I'm trying to to put together some ideas that I have in mind for a while such as designing a knit wear utilising Australian wool, as I'm living in Melbourne now, and creating unisex garments that can be worn by several generations, I mean that every family member can have something for them... As I studied visual arts I love designers such as Rei Kawakubo and Viktor and Rolf, but also like the style of Marcelo Burlon and his business strategy. My lifestyle is very healthy and I prefer natural fibres, so I want to communicate that and find my customers.