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Design & Style

Taking Your Brand Into The World

Diane von Furstenberg

Lesson time 15:16 min

Diane shares how she builds brand loyalty, communicates her brand’s story, and selects models.

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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.
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What is a brand? That is a very good question. I mean, today, it's a word that anybody uses all the time. Any school girl who starts with a blog, I'm branding myself. She's brand, a brand. A brand has become a huge, huge common word. When I started, I don't think I use the brand until, I don't know, maybe 10, 15 years ago. I mean, I certainly was a brand when I was young and I had 17 licensees and all of that. But we didn't use the word brand. So what is the mean to be a brand? Well, I guess that it is to have a name, to have an identity, to have a precise DNA, something that you can use sell, rent, capitalize on. I always say this brand is the friend in the closet. When you wake up in the morning and you don't know what to wear, it's the friend you can rely on. It's the dress that you never give up somehow. Every time you clean your closet, you throw some things but you never throw her. And that is very magical and that is very special. I think the longevity of the brand is probably because I am stubborn and because when I lost the brand, I wanted back. And when things aren't well and good, then I want to show myself I could do it again. I'm sure it has a lot to do with that. But then you detach yourself, and there is something that you call brand loyalty. But brand loyalty, you are loyal to the brand, but that doesn't necessarily mean that you want to buy it. I think that people have a brand loyalty to me as a person because I think they have seen me grow through the ages and go through good and bad and indifferent and somehow survive. And I think the way I was able to survive is because I always spoke the truth and therefore I have a good reputation. And one thing I will tell to any young person, never undermine the value of reputation because a good reputation will help you so much, and a bad reputation is real tough to unstick from. So reputation is a very important thing. So as it relates to the brand loyalty, I was saying that I think that people are loyal to what the brand represents, but that doesn't mean that they're happy with the product that you offer. And at the end, you have to go back to the product because it's not all marketing. It is the product. It isn't the marketing that made me sell 10 million wrap dresses. It isn't. It isn't the marketing. It is because that dress was relevant and stayed relevant and was practical and easy and not too expensive and sexy and proper. And it had all those things at the same time. So it's not all marketing. Marketing is important to tell the story. But in order to tell the story, you have to have something substantial to tell the story about because otherwise it's all varnish and it cracks. So the most important thing for you to do is focus on the intention. Focus on your product. Why is your product different? What is special about your pr...


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.



Reviews

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

It has helped me to improve my self-worth and my perspective on how I should move forward with my skillsets and leadership.

This class its very human and i learned things very important, like: Use storytelling for marketing: who you are, where you live, what these people make, Be authentic and the most important: "You can lose everything, but you never lose your character". Thanks for this class, thank you DVF i loved it.

I love it! A lot of great information and very inspirational, I hope I had a mentor like her. Thank you for your imput

I absolutely admire her. What a charismatic, inspirational and powerful woman. I found everything she said supportive and valuable to life and growth not only specifically for fashion design.


Comments

Giorgia D.

I felt really touched by the last 5 minutes of this lesson. I've been modelling since I was 14 and non of the stylist ever told me to think about me, myself or the woman I wanted to be. This is an example for all present and future Brands!

Gabriel C.

I like when Diane uses the analogy of the brand to be the house and all you do is for the house.

Ona B.

Dear Diane, you are so inspiring ! In every class I am learning something new and it means I am improving my fashion world. Thank you so much!

Karmen B.

"Be happy to be who you are!" What a great mantra, Ms von Furstenberg. Thank you.

Vera Lúcia M.

My brand is not going to be for everybody, because that’s impossible. Although I think that different kinds of women can have things in common. Whenever they are perfectly healthy and young. Or have any disability or are in their gold years. That must be taken into considerations. My brand is going to be original and sometimes bold. Summarily, I want to take risks.

Florencia D.

Focus on your product what's special Is important to have a great product in order to use the brand. Marketing is so important because it creates a story.

Mia S.

"Whether it is for advertising or for social media, models are very important; to work with models is a very important part of being a designer. When I picked models, I always wanted girls with character, girls who were in charge of their lives. Sometimes they weren't that pretty, or they weren't that obviously beautiful, but they had character. More important, they had personality. At every fashion show, I would always tell the models before they started: 'Don't think about the clothes. Don't think about anything. Just walk there and just focus on one thing: Be the woman you want to be.' And automatically, the girls grew taller, they were happier, they focused on the boyfriend or the career, or whatever they wanted to be, but they inspired strength. For me, beautiful is about being strong. 'Be happy to be who you are.'"

Mia S.

"How are the different ways to show your collection? In the most intimate way, you show it in the showroom. You may have one or two showroom models. You try to have the nice makeup, a nice surrounding, but fairly simple, maybe just the flowers you think are right, or the lights, or maybe the background, but you show it very small. Next step, you could do a tableau vivant, or a presentation. When you walk into a room and the room has been set up, and it gives you the mood, and you have the models in there. Or you can have a fashion show. Fashion shows have existed for a long time, and it's the most conventional way to show your collection. Over the years, they have changed enormously. Couture houses, they would show in their own house. They would show to buyers, but they would also show to dressmakers. At the time, dressmakers all around the world would buy the pattern, fabric and they would sew it for their consumers. Then Milan came up with Fashion Week, and they had ready-to-wear fashion shows. And the fashion shows became bigger and bigger, more of a spectacle, to take photographs, celebrities, front row - all of that, you have a complete spectacle- a complete mise-en-scene to show the clothes. What determines what kind of presentation you will do is purely budget, because fashion shows are extremely costly. Do not feel obligated to spend all of your marketing money on one fashion show because it's crazy - I insist about not having peer pressure of doing the big fashion show. Maybe they have a smaller presentation, and they do a bigger show later. Right now, the fashion industry is very much in a stage of flux. Big show, small show, more private, less private, how much do we allow social media or not? I think the direction probably that we will be going more and more is that the presentation to the buyers will probably be a little bit more private, and the bigger fashion shows will probably be geared more towards a larger audience, which I think makes sense."

Mia S.

"The power of the image, the power of what you do once you have created a product. Today, we live in a world where marketing is so focused and so important. Marketing takes the product that is going to go on sale, and make sure that they communicate. They create images, they create storytelling to go to stores all over the world, on social media, to your partners. You create the image. The image of how you present something is extremely important. The first thing is, the first people you will present it to are the buyers. Whether it is in your showroom or wherever it is, it is important that you present the clothes in an environment or with a few little details that will enhance the image that you are passing on. Then, of course, you have advertising. Not many people do advertising, often it's the store that does advertising. But today with social media, you are able to really take your product, put it on the girl that you want, make it do what you want, and pass it on to the consumer yourself. That is the revolution of the image today. Before, you depended so much on the magazines, which you still do - but you have more control over your image, how you want to present your product to the consumer. Very important is communication, visual merchandising, and storytelling is all part of one thing: how you show it in the stores, what the background is, how you present it - that's all visual. Communication is PR, so tied with storytelling. It's very important that everybody says the same thing. So what started from your mood board, that becomes a product that is being shown, that is being sold, that is being talked about and presented. The more you can make all that coherent, the better it is. Everything you do is at the service of the brand. The brand is what is the house that you put everything you do in. Therefore, the architecture of the house, the decoration in the house, the food in the house, everything should say the same thing: your message."

Mia S.

"What is a brand? Today, it's a word that anybody uses all the time. Any school girl who starts with a blog, 'I'm branding myself.' I certainly was a brand when I was young and I had 17 licenses and all that, but we didn't use the word brand. So what does it mean to be a brand? To have a name, to have an identity, to have a precise DNA, something that you can use, sell, rent, capitalize on. I always say, This brand is the friend in the closet. When you wake up in the morning and you don't know what to wear, it's the friend you can rely on. It's the dress that you never give up somehow, every time you clean out your closet. You throw away some things, but never her. And that is very magical and that is very special. The longevity of the brand is probably because I am stubborn. When I lost the brand, I wanted it back; when things aren't well and good, then I want to show myself I can do it again. But then you detach yourself, and there is something you call brand loyalty. You're loyal to the brand, but it doesn't necessarily mean that you want to buy it. The way I was able to survive was I spoke the truth, and therefore I have a good reputation. One thing I will tell to any young person, never undermine the value of reputation. A good reputation will help you so much. A bad reputation is real tough to unstick from. Reputation is a very important thing. As it relates to the brand loyalty, people are loyal to what the brand represents, but that doesn't mean that they're happy with the products you offer, and in the end you have to go back to the product, because it's not all marketing. It is the product. Marketing is important to tell the story. But in order to tell the story, you have to have something substantial to tell the story about, or else it's all varnish, and cracks. Focus on the intention. Why is your product different? What is special about your product? Those are the things that matter the most."