Diane von Furstenberg: Woman in Charge (2024) Movie Script

[audience applauding]
Welcome the woman who
reinvented the dress.
[chuckles] Is that right?
She re... reinvented the dress?
- [Frank] Love it.
- And bec...
- [laughter]
- Frank's wearing one this morning.
And became one of America's
most successful businesswomen,
Diane von Furstenberg.
[audience applauding]
[inaudible dialogue]
Rein... Reinvented the dress,
what do they, what do they,
what do we mean by that?
I created what was
called the wrap dress,
and I wrapped America around.
I mean, everybody had, I mean,
you see those wrap dresses
going up and down the streets.
How old were you at
this time? Was that a...
- Twenty-two.
- Twenty-two.
The 22-year-old women that I
know are cheerleaders, you know?
- They...
- [audience laughs]
Uh, and, and how do you, um...
how do you get to be a princess?
Well, in my case,
I married a prince.
[audience laughs]
[Oprah Winfrey] My first impression
of Diane von Furstenberg was,
"Now there's a woman."
["Sisters Are Doin' It for Themselves"
by Eurythmics & Aretha Franklin playing]
[TV presenter 1] Diane von
Furstenberg, a true feminist icon,
changed the face of fashion
with a single wrap dress.
[TV presenter 2] The wrap dress
made Diane von Furstenberg
a household name and
a fashion tycoon.
Diane was one of
the very first women
who'd really broken through, uh,
the glass ceiling in business.
DVF, those three letters as in, you
know, logo, is known all over the world.
[speaker 1] What other
brand can you think about
that's had a dress that
still sells 50 years later?
But Diane is more than a
fashion designer, she's an icon.
[Nathan Jenden] Diane
blazed a trail, really.
Every woman's a
woman in charge now.
Every woman's on the
go, and that's Diane.
[Linda Bird Francke]
She's without boundary.
She loved to say that she
was living a man's life,
but she did it in
high heels. [chuckles]
I think DVF is one of the youngest
people that I've ever met.
The first one on the dance
floor, the last one at the party.
[speaker 2] She is the
sexiest woman I know.
[speaker 3] Sex was
part of her brand.
[speaker 4] She's very
unapologetic about who she is.
Diane is very clever, you
know, she's a hustler.
[Gloria Steinem] She wasn't trying to
become the only woman in a male club.
She was changing the
whole nature of the club.
[Marc Jacobs] Sometimes
what makes history
is when you go against what
you're told is okay to do.
And Diane had the
strength to do it.
[Diane von Furstenberg] I made an
enormous amount of money very quickly,
and then all of a sudden,
woom, lost it all.
[Anderson Cooper] If you
look at her from afar,
you just see this
successful person
and you think, oh, maybe it's
been really easy for her.
But when you actually
hear her story
and where she came from, you
realize it's hard-earned.
[speaker 5] She's a
survivor. She never stopped.
Here we come now
- Sisters are doin' it for themselves
- We're doin' and we're doin'
And we're doin' it, yeah
I don't understand why so many
people do not embrace age.
[gentle piano music playing]
I've always been attracted
by wrinkles, you know?
Age... age means living.
You shouldn't say
how old you are.
You should say, "How
long have you lived?"

If you take all
your wrinkles away,
you know, the map of
your life is different.
I don't really want to
erase anything from my life.

Okay, I'm gonna get dressed now.
I've had a full life.
I mean, I'm 76, I should be 300.
- [director] Okay.
- [crew member] Rolling, rolling.
[director] You know,
Diane, you've led a life
where you have talked about
sort of the adventures
you've gone on
and then you've talked about
the men you've been with.
You haven't hidden
behind a sort of persona
that a lot of successful
women feel they have to.
Well, I mean, I could ask
you the same question.
I mean, why do you have to hide?
Why? Why?
[director] Society
makes you think about...
Well, no, socie... No, I,
I... Why do you have to hide?
What my mother taught me is
take responsibility of yourself.
And so, I've taken the responsibility
of all the things I've done.
The only place to
find your strength
is by being true to yourself.
That's your only shelter.
I think what defines
me the most, really,
is the moment I was born.
[crowd cheering]
[light music playing]
And you have to go back to the
end of the war in Brussels.
There was this young woman
who had nothing but bone,
who was 22 years old
in a desert of ashes.
Eighteen months before I was
born, my mother was in Auschwitz.

[Lily Halfin] You know, I
was in the concentration camp
and I was very skinny and sick.
When I come back, I
was only 44 pounds.
[Diane] She survived
the death camp.
Her parents could not believe
that she was there alive.
And her mother fed her
like a little bird,
every five minutes,
a little bit food.
And within six months, she had
gained her, her normal weight.
Her fianc, my father,
came back from Switzerland.
They planned to get married
and the doctor said,
"Yes, you can get married,
but you cannot have a child."
[Lily] The doctor
said to my husband,
"Monsieur, it's very dangerous
"if, if she... your
wife has a baby,
"um, because she's not in, uh,
in a possibility
to have a child."
[Diane] The doctor said, "You,
the mother, will not survive it
and your child will
not be normal."
And sure enough, I was
born nine months later.
And in a sense,
I was not normal.

[Lily] God send me Diane.
It was a present.
[Diane] Just the fact that
I was born was a victory.
She used to say, "God saved me
so that I can give you life."
"By giving you life, you
gave me my life back.
You are my torch of freedom."
[soft symphonic music playing]
I usually don't come
back to Brussels.
I always feel sad
in Brussels somehow.
Although I really
love the fact that,
you know, I was born
here, I'm Belgian.
Every time I come back,
I feel small again.
You know, my mother was very
tough when I was a little girl.
She wanted me to be
independent no matter what.
She didn't want
me to be a victim,
never want me to be afraid,
and she always pushed me.
I don't think my mother
ever said, be careful.
If I was afraid of the dark,
she would lock me
in a dark closet.
Today she could
go to jail for it.
But she was right, because
once you're in a dark closet,
it doesn't stay dark.
And even if it did
stay dark, why fear?
She wanted to equip me
in case I ever needed
to live what she lived.

My mother was traumatized.
So even though she didn't
really show it to me,
you know, there was
always behind closed door,
I knew that, you know, she
went back to a dark place.
When I would come
back from school,
my first thing is, "How
is my mother?" You know?
My mother was my concern.
I was never a child, I
was always a grown-up.
I had my mother's
concern first, for sure.
Even as a little girl,
I wanted to get out.
It was always independence
that excited me.
And I remember feeling so
different than everyone else.
It's all got to do with my hair.
Everybody in Belgium has
blonde straight hair,
and I have black curly hair.
It's as stupid as that.
I just had to run away
to make my own life.
And besides, my mother
left before I did.
One day, I came back from school
and, uh...
there was a blue envelope
addressed to my
mother in the hallway.
And I don't know
what happened to me.
And I opened the envelope.
It was a letter addressed
to my mother from a man.
That man turned
out to be, later...
her lover, and she ended up
leaving my father for that man.
It was a divorce, like a war.
I mean, it's... it
was a big fight.
[Diane] I never
questioned my mother,
I never judged her at all.
And... I don't know why.
I mean, I didn't think
she didn't love me,
but she just had...
she just had to go.
[peppy saxophone
music playing]
I mean, I just saw it as
freedom for everybody.
After the divorce,
my mother put me in boarding
school in Switzerland.
For me, being in boarding
school was the best thing ever.

There was the excitement
of being on my own
and anything can happen.
The first year at
boarding school,
I fell in love and I had
my first love with a boy.
He was Persian.

And then after that, I
fell in love with a girl.
And it was passion, I loved her.
And, uh, I kind of got
expelled for that reason.
Her sexual fluidity is, is sexy.
[Italian pop song playing]
[Anh Duong] Diane is not
afraid of her desires.
In our society, you know, women tend
to be afraid of wanting too much,
but Diane is not afraid
to own her sexuality.
[Diane] Very often you
are in love with love.
And when I was 18 I met Egon.
["Tuca Tuca" by
Raffaella Carr playing]
Ah-ah, mi piaci
He was a prince.
His mother was Agnelli,
the big car company in Europe.
[Olivier Gelbsmann]
Egon was very handsome
and the kindest man
that I've ever met.
He liked to have fun, obviously,
and also liked Diane very much,
and he like me also.
["Tuca Tuca" continues]
[Diane] Egon is the young prince
that everybody wants
to go out with.
And so, I was clearly
invited with him.
So that was my first kind
of touch with the jet set.
He initiated me to that life.
[Gioia Diliberto] Diane became
part of a group of young people
who were wealthy, and beautiful,
and were following the
social seasons around Europe.
For a middle-class Jewish girl,
it was not a natural
entre into the world
of these moneyed aristocrats,
but she managed to
infiltrate them.
[Diane] Egon told me he
loved me and I loved him.
He believed in me
before anyone else.
["Tuca Tuca" continues]
And when I was an
awkward 18-year-old girl,
he was instrumental in
giving me confidence.
But, you know, we were so young.
So he had this
life, I had my life.
Egon went to America,
and I went to Paris.
[mellow French song playing]

I met this guy, Albert Koski,
he was a photographer's agent.
He had a house in the
16th arrondissement,
that was the center for
models and photographers.
So I started to work for him.
My job was answering the phone
and said that he wasn't there
either to photographers
he hadn't paid,
or to girls that he had
been with the night before
and he didn't wanna see.
And, of course, as a young girl
working with all these men,
this one tried to, you
know, lock you in a room.
It's just part of life, you
just kick them off, you know?
[director] Was there ever a time
that made you uncomfortable?
No. No, no.
I cannot say that...
anyone has done anything
that made me uncomfortable.
I would never give
anyone that much credit.
On my 20th birthday, Egon
invited me to Cortina.
And that's where I
met Angelo Ferretti.
Ferretti had a printing
plant in Como, Italy.
He would make scarves
for Gucci, Ferragamo,
all of the big...
Valentino, whatever.
And he said to me,
"You should come
and see where they
make fashion."
Ferretti also wanted very
much to get me in his bed,
but I didn't.
Anyway, it just so happened
that I was there at that time,
and he had the idea of making
printed T-shirts out of jersey.
Then I thought, "Oh, there's
something cute there.
And I love the idea of
these T-shirt dresses."
So I started to stay late,
you know, with a pattern maker
and make a few samples
here and there.
I was inspired by
the little wrap top
that the ballerinas
used to wear.
So that was the inspiration.
So, first, it was a wrap
top with a matching skirt.
You know, it wasn't like, "Ooh,
I wanna be a fashion designer."
No. I just thought, "Oh,
I can make some samples
that I will try to sell."
[birds chirping]
- So that's the very first... top.
- [assistant] That's the very first one.
- [assistant] Top, skirt.
- And, and skirt.
It came in the leopard
and then in some other
prints, including this one.
And so this was
the first idea...
- Mm-hmm.
- That took Diane to the wrap dress?
- [assistant] Exactly.
- [Nicolas Lor] Exactly.
[Diane] I got a call from a young
fashion curator in Brussels.
He wanted to do an exhibition
on me and my dresses.
[speaking Italian]
I mean, it would've been
incredibly pretentious...
- [chuckles]
- that I went into fashion
because I wanted to create
the uniform for freedom.
[Nicolas] Mm.
I mean, that would've
been ridiculous.
I don't think that I had
a vocation for fashion.
- Mm-hmm.
- I had a vocation to be a woman in charge,
to be a free woman,
that was my vocation.
- [Nicolas] Anything could be...
- Fashion became a, a way to do it.
[pensive music playing]
The last thing I was thinking
about is getting married.
I was so young.
But then Egon gave me a ring,
meaning that, you know, we
would get married one day.
I continued to work, and
then one day I fainted.
People were looking
at me and she said,
"She's dead, she's dead."
And I said, "No, I'm not dead."
And I was not dead, but
actually I was pregnant.

I was 22.
And I could not believe it.
I said, "This is terrible,
this is not possible."
"I cannot get married pregnant.
"I mean, everyone is gonna
think that I did it on purpose.
"This little Jewish
girl marrying a prince,
there's no way, no way,
I can't have the child."
And so I went back to
Geneva to see my mother.
And I also went to see a
doctor to see, you know...
And my mother said,
"Listen, he gave you a ring
"and you talked about
getting married one day.
So whatever decision you make,
you have to do together."
And so it took me hours and
hours to write a telegram
to tell him that it was okay,
I can handle everything.
And he sent me a
telegram back saying,
"Organized wedding,
mid-July, Paris."
[soft piano music playing]
Instead of hiding that I was
pregnant, you know, I made a point.
I'm pregnant, so I can't
be completely in white.

So I had a petticoat
of all colors
and a belt which was all colors,
ribbon and a hat with
all colored flowers.
[director] A Jewish
girl marrying...
A prince, a German prince.
- [director] A German prince.
- Yes.
That's a big deal.
On my side, you could say that
my mother could have minded.
She didn't... she loved
Egon from day one.
[guests cheering and whooping]
From his side, it was
a little difficult
to, ooh, to have Jewish blood.

Egon's father came for
the, for the ceremony,
but not for the reception.
[Gioia] The night before the
wedding at the rehearsal dinner,
he commented to a
friend of Diane's,
"I don't know why Egon is marrying
this dark little Jewish girl."
He did used to call me
and my brother little Jews
in front of Lily.
I didn't experience
it as anti-Semitic
because I was like two years
old or three years old.
But in hindsight,
I think it may have been
a little bit aggressive
towards my grandmother.
[Tassilo von Furstenberg] I was
named after my great-grandfather
who was an Austrian aristocrat.
And my great... my great-grandmother
was a Holocaust survivor,
so it's always
been talked about.
It's about my family that
we've had this dynamic.
We've had both the suffering
and the oppressing.

[Diane] My roots are Jewish,
my mother paid for that.
She paid for that,
but I was her revenge.
[guests applauding]
[piano music playing]
When I went to the
Furstenberg Castle,
I thought, "Maybe they,
they will poison me."
It was after lunch, and there
may have been the remark
that annoyed me, and
I went on a walk.
But I don't remember
what annoyed me.
What I remember is the
conversation that I had
with my unborn child.
"We will show them.
"We will show them.
We will show them."

Egon was already in New York.
I wanted to take a boat
to come to America.
[ship horn blaring]
I had this idea,
you come to America,
the boat, the Statue of Liberty.
So I didn't wanna fly
because I wanted to
think about my future.
And then I had my little
suitcase full of samples.
["New York City Rhythm"
by Barry Manilow playing]
City rhythm, ooh
City rhythm
When I arrived, New
York is buzzing.
There were so many artists,
there was Hair on Broadway.
Nudity on Broadway,
I mean, it was just, oh,
my God, talk about freedom.
[engines roaring]
It was the women's liberation,
and Gloria Steinem,
and all of that.
And for me, it was like
being in American movie.
It's the New York City rhythm
runnin' through my life
We go out every night.
I mean, we'd go to
cocktail parties,
we'd go to dinner parties,
we go to openings,
we'd go to fashion shows.
There were all these
young designers,
Giorgio di Sant' Angelo
who was making bodysuits,
Halston who was making
fluid silhouettes.
Stephen Burrows, who made
very body-conscience clothes.
You could find inexpensive
things that were stylish
because America was a
much bigger country.
So Egon, the young
prince, he knew everybody.
He arranged an appointment
for me to show my dresses
to Diana Vreeland.
Now, Diana Vreeland is the
most intimidating person
I have ever met in my life.
So I, I go in with
a big huge suitcase
and I start hanging the clothes.
All of a sudden she walks
in with red nail polish,
and red, red lipstick,
and black, black hair.
And she comes to me and
she pushes my chin up.
And she said, "Chin up, up!"
And I thought, "Ooh,
my God, where am I?"
Two girls were modeling for her.
They start to put
the clothes on,
and she looks at me and she
said, "Aah, ooh, rah, rah."
Before I know, I am pushed out
the door, packing my luggage,
not knowing what has
happened to me at all.
But she had an
assistant who said,
"I think she's gonna help
you, I think she liked it."
Before I knew I had a company.
She didn't come in with an idea.
She came in with a
package, with a product.
She wasn't just a
person with a dream.
She came in with a whole thing
digested, fixed, arranged.
[Diane] I hired this salesman
and he was a great salesman.
And he pushed me, he
sent me on the road.
I would go to Pittsburgh,
I would go to Oklahoma.
I would go all over.
I would go back and
forth to the factory,
but my orders were so small.
And I would go to
Ferretti, and he said,
"I can't make these
small orders."
But I would cry and,
"Please," and "Trust me."
I work out of my dining room.
I sell them, I do the
invoice, I do everything.
[Fran Lebowitz] It must have
been incredibly hard for her.
Women in the fashion business weren't
designers, mostly, they were models.
The fashion business
in New York,
it was very hard business
and a, and a rough business.
[car horns honking]
[director] And, you didn't know
anything about running a business?
I didn't... I-I still
don't. [chuckles]
I, I, uh, I didn't know
anything, I didn't know anything.
I was a new
immigrant in America,
in a business that I
knew nothing about,
in a country that I
knew very little about.
Everything was new and
I was inventing it.
[light, cheerful
music playing]
And I was also a new mother.
Alex was born in '70 January.

Tatiana was born
in February '71.
And I always compare her to the
drop of oil in the vinaigrette.
She made it happen,
she made us a family.
[director] When did
you realize your mother
was not like every other mother?
Well, in a weird way, she
is like any other mom.
I mean, she certainly
lived her best life,
but that was secondary to, you know,
the family and, and love, and...
So I don't think that
it was so much different
than any other, sort
of... Jewish mom.
[Tatiana von Furstenberg] My mother
and father were both very young
when they had my brother and I.
So they relied very heavily
on the whole village
to raise us.
My grandmother, Lily, she took
care of me like a mother would.
She covered my mom so that my mother
could be free to do her thing.
My mom was, like, doing
so much in her life
between working and going
out and being a young person.
So my grandmother was more of
just, like, a steady presence.
Did my parents actually
have time for family time?
I wouldn't say they had
the longest attention span.
I don't know if you wanna use
the word "neglected" or "free,"
but we were, like, not infantilized
or cared for as children.
Like, we cooked for ourselves,
we traveled alone
at a very young age.
[Diane] Did I have enough
time for them? Probably not.
But, I... I was...
I mean, they were always
in-inside me, you know?
They were always inside me
from the moment they were born.
[host] All ready?
[Diane] And then I had a
husband who was hard to follow.
[host] Here we are,
Prince von Furstenberg
and what brings you out to another
star-studded celebrity night?
Just came back, I
can't answer you.
- [host] Where have you been?
- I was in Italy.
[host] Okay, alright, thank you.
Prince von Furstenberg, one
of the other glittering stars
that are making this
night at the Rainbow Room,
one to remember. [clicks tongue]
[Bob Colacello] Egon and Diane,
they were like this "it" couple.
They exuded this glamour and
this sexiness, this sensuality.
It's more like they
strutted into the room.
They announced themselves
just by their body movements.
And Egon was a very sexy,
somewhat decadent guy.
He was very outgoing,
very seductive.
He sort of had the attitude that
everybody wanted to sleep with him...
[laughs] ...male,
female, and whatever.
He just exuded this kind of
romantic confidence, let's say.
Egon was this very
attractive husband
who was very promiscuous
at a time that it was very
hip to be promiscuous.
Egon to me, would be
the perfect husband.
I loved him.
He was known for being decadent
in an environment where
you had to be outstanding
in that field to
be known for that.
[Gigi Williams] If I could find
a gay man to fall in love with,
who was that powerful and
allowed me to be who I am,
boy, I'd fall for
him in a second.
[Diane] It was a lot of
going out, a lot of noise,
and a lot of parties.
I don't know how I did it,
I don't know how I did it.
Two small children,
I mean, really,
I mean, my children
are 13 months apart.
And then this one
thing that changed it.
New York Magazine was a
very, very hot magazine.
The editor-in-chief commissions
a 10-page cover story
on me and Egon.
[Linda] And I went up
to their apartment.
They were very, very
nice, very charming.
Diane was so exotic.
She was then saying all the
things that she would say now,
a woman needing independence
and, uh, wanting to
make her own way,
so I liked her a lot.
But Prince Egon,
and I think the word
"prince" has to come in here
because he was arrogant,
he was condescending,
he was filled with entitlement.
Just wanted to go
whack. [laughs]
[director] Can I quote
from the article?
Yeah, you can do whatever you
want, you're the director.
You absolutely want this angle?
[cameraman] Uh,
many, many angles.
[director] "Egon admits that were
he to meet an attractive man",
"he would not loath
to experiment,
but Diane is not so sure."
[pensive music playing]
[Diane] Egon was difficult
to be married with,
he was so much of a flirt.
I realize that I'm a
person, not a couple,
and therefore I can't
be married anymore.
[Gioia] I don't think she was
embarrassed by the sex at all.
That was part of their persona
as ultra sophisticates.
I think it was just
the entire picture.
[Linda] From New York
Magazine's point of view,
they were Eurotrash.
There's a line that
she went back to Europe
and brought back some little
fluffy things to sell.
[Gioia] Even though she
was this businesswoman,
the only thing anybody
saw was the princess.
[Diane] They were looking at me like
this, you know, Park Avenue princess.
I didn't like the,
necessarily that image.
I'd rather be an
Amazon on a horse.
Divorce for me was freedom.
I mean, the common
thread in my life
has always been freedom.
[Tatiana] I think my parents'
marriage was not great.
I think she had a lot of, like, feelings
that she didn't wanna put onto me
because she'd been holding it
together for us the whole time.
I think, you know, growing up with a
very young single mom is just like that.

[Olivier] The princess story
did not last very long.
[Olivier laughs]
She's very practical,
so, you know,
to be a princess meant
what exactly, you know?
And then she became a
business woman, you know?
So, certainly became
more DVF, you know?
[Diane] I became the
woman I wanted to be.
I was in charge of my destiny.
I was in charge of my children,
I was in charge of my life,
I was in charge of my business.
I was a woman in charge.
[mellow music playing]

[music fades]
Hi, have you found anything?
- [assistant 1] Hmm?
- [Diane] Have you found anything?
- [assistant 2] We found a lot.
- [assistant 1] We found a lot.
[Diane] [clears throat] Okay.
Alright, so, the original...
So wh-which is the one, is
this the one they needed?
[assistant 2] This is '70s?
So that's one that he
chose for the '70s.
I mean, this is, this is,
this is, this is 50 years old.
This is a wrap dress
that I love, by the way.
[director] Diane let's go back
to the dress, the wrap dress,
what inspired that design?
- [helicopter blades whirring]
- [people clamoring]
[Diane] In 1973,
Nixon was in trouble.
I condemn any attempts
to cover up in this case,
no matter who is involved.
[Diane] One day on television
I saw Nixon's daughter
defending her father.
She was wearing
my little wrap top
with a matching skirt.
And I thought, "Oh, my God, maybe
I should turn it into a dress."
That's when it all clicked.
I wanted to make a little
announcement in Women's Wear Daily.
So I hired a photographer to
take a picture of me in my dress.
When the picture came,
I liked the picture,
but the white cube was so big.
So I said, "I need to write
something on the cube."
I wrote, "Feel like a
woman, wear a dress."
And I signed, Diane
von Furstenberg.
And that dress became...
a, a phenomenon, a success.
It became crazy.
[Gioia] The wrap dress
was the go-to garment.
Everybody I knew had one.
It seemed to epitomize
a modern, independent,
sexy woman who
could have it all.
[Oprah] I remember
being a young reporter,
saving up for a Diane von
Furstenberg wrap dress.
It was such a status symbol
to have one of those dresses.
[Vanessa Friedman] This dress
empowered a giant swath of women
who could actually
afford to wear it.
Which, you know, let's be honest,
is not true of most high fashion.
Right? Like, most high fashion
kind of exists over here.
And Diane's dress exists in
the middle of the history
of women's rights and
women in the workforce
and women kind of
finding their own voice.
[Gioia] Women in
the '70s were told,
if you wanted to
be taken seriously,
you had to tamp
down your sexuality.
You had to wear a suit that
looked like a man's suit
and you had to make yourself
as unfeminine as possible.
Formfitting wrap dresses were
exactly opposite of that.
[interviewee] She knows
what a woman is like.
She knows what her
dimensions are.
You know, just nice soft
dresses, soft designs.
I own about a half a dozen of 'em I
want you to know, and they're all fine.
[Diane] It was an $86 dress,
that-that's the prize then.
So it became the first
dress for so many people
for the first job, for
the first interview,
for the first prom.
In no time at all,
I was making 25,000
dresses a week.
That's 50,000 sleeves.
[Hillary Rodham Clinton] It's
odd to think that a single dress
could have made
that kind of impact.
But I was there and it did.
I mean, it had a
huge reverberation.
[Diane] At the age of 28, I
was on the cover of Newsweek.
[Fran] Newsweek went
all over the country.
So, you know, it's very likely that,
you know, someone in Kansas or something
sees that, she thinks,
"I could wear that."
"I could wear that,
and also, I'm kind... I would
kinda then be like Diane."
Of course, that's not true,
but people believe that.
And that is how you
have a giant success.
[camera shutter clicking]
- [photographer] Great.
- Okay.
[photographer] Amazing.
[crew member] Oops.
- [Diane] There it is. Okay.
- [photographer] Thank you very much.
[Diane] Thank you.
[Diane] Merci.
[indistinct chatter]
"You should remember the
woman, not the dress."
[peppy music playing]
[Marc] Diane was one of
the first influencers.
An influencer today, whether
they're doing makeup tutorials
or whatever it is
that they're doing,
it's like their audience
is tuning in to them,
and buying what they use,
and what they say
is good, you know?
Like, so absolutely
she did that first.
[interviewer] What
does glamorous mean?
- What does glamorous mean?
- [interviewer] Yeah.
Uh... Well, I guess shiny, no?
Isn't that glamour,
very sparkly and shiny?
[Gigi] Diane and I would put
out a notice at shopping malls,
and all these women
would show up.
Hello, it's very nice to be here
and I'm delighted to
have such a big crowd.
I'm delighted to have
such a young crowd too.
[crowd applauding]
And we would be doing makeup
and talking to a
whole crowd of women,
and our main focus was feminism.
You know, we'd start out with,
first of all, you should
only spend five minutes
to seven minutes
doing your makeup
because you have
other things to do.
Basically, it was like, don't
depend on the man in your life
because he's not gonna be around,
so just take care of yourself.
In 1976, as a woman, you
couldn't have a credit card
or a checking account
without a husband
or a father co-signing for
you, and that's where we were.
[Oprah] Being able to organize and
orchestrate a business for yourself
was such an extraordinary
at a time when women
were not even considered
second-class citizens.
It's just, like, we
didn't even matter.
We had no value
in the workplace.
[Regis Philbin] Alright, now we are
joined by Diane von Furstenberg,
who has a tremendous spread
- in the new Vogue magazine.
- Yes.
You have changed
yourself, haven't you?
- Well, I hope I keep on growing.
- You look a little different.
- Yes, you look different, Diane.
- I hope I keep on growing.
- Well, I am getting old.
- Well, no, no, no, no, no.
I mean, you've changed
your whole hairstyle.
- [Cyndy Garvey] Sure.
- Well, uh,
you know, you keep on growing
and you try to get a little
better and, um, you know...
And I have my moods too.
What kind of mood
are you in right now?
Well, now I'm trying
to be real efficient,
and convincing, and nice, and...
With, uh, stockings like those?
[audience laughs]
[Nathan] I think all women
are treated differently
because they're women.
You are a young woman,
you are dismissed,
you're a young pretty woman,
you are dismissed, you know?
You've married someone,
you're dismissed
because you're just a wife.
You're... you know... And
now, when you're Diane's age,
you're just an old
woman, you know?
Like, it's always dismissive.
[Gioia] She had to
be incredibly tough
and relentless in pushing
for what she wanted,
in the face of resistance
from men who wanted to deny
her entre into their world.
The way she presented
herself as this very sexy,
glamorous woman in fishnets and
stilettos was exactly opposite
how a woman who wanted to
be professional in the '70s
was supposed to present.
[camera shutter snapping]
[Anh] Seduction is part of her
being, it's part of her power.
She knows exactly how
far she can go with it
and she knows how
great she is at it.
But it's a sweet weapon, it's
not necessarily an aggressive,
it's a very, um, loving one too.
[Christian Louboutin] When I
first met her, it was in Paris,
and I do remember that
immediately she says,
"You know the guy you
were just speaking to?"
She said, "He's very sexy."
I said, "Go for it."
So, the funny thing is that,
without knowing each other,
after two minutes she had spotted
someone and she was like on it.
She actually, I think
that they had an affair
at that one point
quite quickly after.
Back then, you shared yourself
where you wanted
to share yourself.
I mean, women should
do what men can do.
I mean, why can a man get away
with things and women can't?
Uh, that's just... whatever.
[rock music playing]
Different times there'd be a
male model or a movie star,
or, you know,
whoever in, you know,
her room when I would
go give her a kiss
to go, before I went to school,
that would never faze me.
[Tatiana] I knew who
her boyfriends were,
the three or four that she had,
but I don't know
what else she did.
Nor am I really
interested. [laughs]
One, two, three, let's go
[guitar solo]
[Alexander von Furstenberg]
Has she given you the list?
- [director] She has given me the list.
- [laughs]
And she's proud of it.
- [director] It's pretty cool.
- It's pretty cool.
- [laughing]
- [director] It's pretty cool.
I mean, how many
people live like that?
[director] Did you have
relationships with any of these guys?
[Diane] What do you
call a relationship?
Did I seduce him?
I was with Warren
Beatty and Ryan ONeal
on the same weekend.
How about that?
Yeah, yeah, yeah,
yeah, yeah, yeah
And I had a thing with
Richard Gere. He was cute.
One day, Mick Jagger
came with David Bowie.
You know, maybe we could
all have fun together,
the three of us.
And I thought, "Well, that's something
I could tell my grandchildren."
But they were both
sitting on the sofa
and I just thought, "This is...
I can't... I mean, I can't.
I just, I just can't do that."
So I said, "Guys, I
love you very much,
but I think you're gonna
have to go elsewhere."
[Talita von Furstenberg] She really
did live her life the way she wanted.
I mean, she rejected a threesome
with Mick Jagger and Bowie.
Resisting those two rock stars
in the prime of their
career is just really epic.
[rock music continues]
I was having a man's
life in a woman's body.
Yes. God, yes.
[pensive music playing]
And then of course, I met Barry
and fell in love.
[Barry Diller] The first time I
met Diane is definitely embedded
solidly into my brain.
And there is some controversy
'cause Diane actually
says it didn't happen,
but I know that it did happen.
It was at a dinner given
by friends of mine.
Diane and Egon
came to this dinner
and I was introduced to Diane,
who looked at me like
I was cellophane.
At one point, Egon came up to
me, who I'd never met before,
and he said, "Your
pants are too short."
And, of course, they were.
I wasn't chopped liver,
I was chairman of
Paramount Pictures.
I left that night and I thought,
"I never wanna see
those people again."
But less than a year
later, Diane gave a dinner.
So I go to the dinner,
I was gonna stay 20 minutes,
and I ended up staying more
than an hour and a half or so.
Most of the time spent
talking to Diane.
There was some absolute
magnetism in the air between us.
["Heart of Glass"
by Blondie playing]
[Diane] Barry came into my life
and the feeling was very sudden
and very, very, very strong.
He just opened up, and he
had never opened to anyone,
and he opened up to me
without even thinking.
That's what I fell in love with.
Much o' mistrust,
love's gone behind
I've always been
attracted to shy men
'cause I feel like I can
bring something out of them.
She cracked me open from
almost the first day.
Magic, sorceress?
I don't know what, but she did.
We were madly in
love, madly in love.
But we were two tycoons.
He was chairman of
Paramount Pictures.
I was this big success.
[Barry] In the early years,
we were both kinda busy,
so half of our relationship
was being apart
and half was being together.
This was a time also when
there was a lot of freedom
of dating, having
side relationships,
and flirting, and all of that.
Whatever your excesses were,
whatever your sexuality
was, it was all okay.
It was before AIDS,
it was before any kind
of moral clamp down
that happened in
the Reagan years.
It was the Studio
54 of our lives.
["I Feel Love" by
Donna Summer playing]
[TV presenter 1] Studio 54.
It attracts the
rich and the famous,
the glamorous and the powerful.
[TV presenter 2] Piercing lights,
a cascade of special effects,
supple-bodied young waiters
dressed in nothing but shorts,
and the dance floor, where
practically anything goes.

[Diane] We thought we
had invented freedom.
I had lots of friends there,
you know, Bianca Jagger,
Mick Jagger, Liza Minnelli,
and everybody ended up there
late at night, you know?

Very often I would have dinner
with my children and my mother,
and then later that night
I would put my cowboy
boots on and drive my car.
I would just feel so free
because I would walk in alone.
[Bob] Everything just
sort of was so open
and Diane was very much
in the middle of that.
[Gigi] There were no rules,
you just did what felt good.
You met somebody, you
went home with them.
I don't think I've
ever had a date.
It wasn't, okay, now I'm with
a man, or now I'm with a woman.
Diane and I flirted with
each other all the time.
We thought nothing could be
better for you than promiscuity.
For sure, promiscuity
was good for you.
It was a time of more
people having more sex.
Even straight people.
I feel love
[Barry] A lot of people
were doing drugs.
I was not, Diane was
just smoking marijuana.
[Fran] Cocaine was like a
huge drug, and Quaaludes.
Steve Rubell, who was
one of the owners,
he would always put like a,
like a handful in your
hand when you went in.
I would always
take the Quaaludes
because girls liked them,
but I never took one.
It didn't last that long,
I, I think it lasted
like two years maybe.
I could be wrong,
maybe even less.
[Linda] Diane gave a going-away
party for Steve Rubell.
I was such a Gidget that I asked
whoever's standing next to me
where Steve Rubell was going.
I thought, "Oh, some fantastic
vacation or something."
And the answer was, "To jail."
[Bob] Diane's parties were
just great mixes of people.
It was uptown and downtown.
It was Henry Kissinger,
or it was Norman Mailer,
it was Susan
Sontag, it was Andy.
And, um, you know, Diane and Egon
always remained really friendly.
He would roll with, you know,
a posse of five, six guys.
There was no judgment,
there was no hiding.
I knew that he was
gay, very, you know...
He was, uh, very
open and honest.
[Tatiana] I think my dad's nickname
was "Egon von First in Bed".
I mean, I certainly
met many people
that were his boyfriends.
But you have to
understand, at the time,
my dad's promiscuity,
it was, like, terrifying
because that was the
beginning of AIDS.
[solemn music playing]
[Gigi] In 1981 I
became very aware
that something was
killing everybody.
And that was our clique,
that was our group.
Everything went back
to the dark ages.
Free love was gone.

[Diane] It was a difficult time.
A lot of people were dying,
a lot of talented
people, young people.
You know, all of
our family friends.
I mean, my mom and dad
both worked in fashion
and, um, it was like everybody.
[Alexander] AIDS had a really
huge impact on my family
in a really deep way.
And most importantly, my father.
[Diane] I remember when he
told me that he was positive.
My children were traumatized.
[Alexander] And I saw him suffer
for, you know, close to a decade.
[Tatiana] I was so terrified
of him dying, like, terrified.
[Diane] I loved him, I
never stopped loving him.
I was with Egon with my
children when he died.

I closed his eyes.
[Alexander] Watching someone
that was full of life,
life of the party,
slowly dwindle away
from AIDS sucked.
And I actually watched him die.
I watched him take
his last breath,
and dying sucks.
[solemn music fades out]
[TV presenter] Diane
von Furstenberg
is a name known to women
throughout this country.
Once dismissed as a
frivolous jet setter,
she has since built a
multimillion-dollar fragrance
and fashion empire aimed at
women, not unlike herself.
When did you decide
that the time had come
to begin building your empire?
Well, it didn't come that way.
I very much wanted to work,
I very much wanted
to be independent
and then I was very
successful very quickly,
made enormous amount
of money very quickly,
and then all of a sudden,
woom, lost it all.
One morning we woke up
and every newspaper was,
all the dresses were on sale.
I was saturating the market.
Every woman in America, she had one,
two, five, ten, sometimes twenty
of the same dresses.
That couldn't go on.
It was very difficult, all these
big responsibilities, liabilities,
and I went through
a midlife crisis
that usually a big
businessman of 50 has.
My company was in trouble
and then something happened
that was 100 times worse.
I had a phone call from
my mother's companion.
They had gone on a
business trip to Germany
and I don't know what happened,
but something must
have triggered.
He woke up and he looked for
her, and he could not find her.
And he went to the lobby
and she was hiding
under the concierge's desk.
She went crazy.
[Linda] She was in Germany
and there were German men
around talking loudly.
It just triggered a whole panic.
And so she was in a mental ward.
[Diane] I took a plane from
New York and I came to Geneva.
I brought the children because
I needed them to be near me.
I arrived in the hospital
and I discovered my mother,
tiny, tiny, tiny, like
a little bird on her bed
with her fur coat on her.
Her fur coat, you
have to understand,
was probably the most
meaningful thing for her.
[Linda] She had bought the
fur coat with the reparations
from the German government
because she had been
so cold, so cold,
how she survived, I
really do not know.
[Diane] When my mother
had her breakdown,
that's when I had just a taste
of the horrible stuff
she went through.
That's when I understood
how hard it had been on her.
"Between August
1942 and July '44,
"twenty-eight trains left
from the Dossin barracks
and deported 25,628 Jews."
So she went in, she
went in one like that.
Crazy, huh?
My mother gets
arrested in Belgium,
five days in the cattle
train, no food, no water,
people, you know,
throwing up, all of that.
And she always told me,
"Fear is not an option."
When she was arrested,
she took some cardboard
and she wrote to her parents,
and she threw it in
the, in... on the street
hoping that somebody
would find it.
And she never... See, she
said, "Merci beaucoup,"
she gave the address, and
she wrote to her parents.
[emotional sigh]
[somber music playing]
My mother is incredibly,
incredibly important.
In every cell of my being.
[guide] Only the ones in sepia
are the ones who survived.
So, everybody in black
and white did not survive.
[Diane] She lived the horror
that none of us
can even imagine.

[Tatiana] When my grandmother had
her nervous breakdown in Germany,
I think it was my
mother's worst nightmare,
because we always tried
to keep her buoyed
and it took her about a
year to fully recover.
[Diane] After my mother got
better we came back to New York
and I was invited
to get an award
by the Anti-Defamation
League at the Hotel Pierre.
They called me on
stage and I said,
"You all know me because,
you know, of my dresses,
"but what you don't know is that
18 months before I was born,
my mother was in Auschwitz,
I am a child of a survivor."
To hear myself saying that
was so shocking to me.
I started to tremble, I couldn't
believe that I said that.
And I remember I
walked back home
and I was in shock.
I had realized...
who I was and where I came from,
and before that I
had never done that.
Her way to deal with
being sad sometimes
is to really concentrate
on something else.
So it's, it is there, but she
doesn't wanna put it in front.
[Diane] That was key
moment in my life.
I had all of a sudden the
responsibility to talk about it,
and I didn't wanna do that.
I wanted to go as far
as I could possibly go.
I took my children
and we went to Bali.
I fell into nature, and,
and sarongs, and volcanoes,
and... and I just
lived a fantasy.
[waves crashing]
And there I met Paolo,
and we fell in love.
Into my life you came,
bringing peace to my heart,
fire to my body,
love to my soul.
In your eyes, I see
myself feeling, reaching,
looking for perfect harmony.
[presenter] The words are
Diane von Furstenberg's,
and they are the very
essence of her new perfume,
Volcan D'Amour.
It's love, it's a promise,
almost a commitment.
[Barry] What a contrast from me
to a Brazilian kinda beach boy.
She was developing an alternative
life to the one she had,
and she was on a
different planet.
I was devastated.
[Diane] I was reinventing
my life, you know?
And that's what
happens in a lifetime.
[Peter Arnell] The Bali period,
to me, was an escape from a pain
that she couldn't manage,
I think she ran away from it.
I don't think it was a cop-out.
I think it was a necessary
step to remove herself
from problems that
maybe she couldn't face.
[Diane] Then I fell in
love with a writer...
and I moved to Paris.
[Gioia] After the Brazilian that
she'd picked up on the beach
she falls in love
with Alain Elkann,
a rising writer living in Paris.
[Diane] All of a sudden I
was the muse of a writer.
I didn't really run
a business anymore,
so I fulfilled another fantasy.
I had a literary salon
and I started a small
publishing house.
[Linda] She goes deeply
into this literary life
and he didn't like her
jazzy, zippy, vivid colors,
wonderful designed clothes, no!
So she's walking around in a
gray skirt and a green cardigan.
This was not Diane.
[Gioia] I remember the
first time I saw her,
I had to do a double-take.
I hardly recognized her
because she looked more
like Susan Sontag than DVF.
[Tatiana] Me and my brother
felt like she was a little bit
impressionable at
that time, you know?
Like, she was giving
up who she was
and becoming kind of
enmeshed in his identity.
[Diane] Actually, Alain and
I had a great relationship.
But then he had an affair
with my best friend.
[Linda] Diane said,
"Fazoo," and came home.
[Diane] I missed
my home in America.
So I came back to New York
and that was the hardest
year when I came back.
My children went
to boarding school.
[Tatiana] My mom
was really upset
when I went to boarding
school, really upset.
[Diane] I really, really cried.
That was a big,
big, big, big cry.
[Tatiana] I think my
mom in a way always felt
like she was playing
catch-up with me, you know?
Like, she was always
trying to connect
and I was always a
little bit elusive.
Sometimes she wanted
more quality time,
but it was like I couldn't,
I would ice her out.
Maybe it was too
little, too late.
And so I think when I
went to boarding school,
I think it was really
devastating for her
because I was gone now and I
didn't ever move back home.
I was gone and we were
still playing catch-up.
[Diane] "Dear Mommy,
I was wondering"
"if I could have a
talk with you sometime,
because, Mommy, you don't
know anything about my life."
[Tatiana] I think I wrote
that note, "Dear Mom,
you know absolutely
nothing about me."
That's how I felt.
[Diane] I pinned
that note on my board
and I looked at that
note all the time,
and yet I didn't
understand the note.
I did not realize that
Tatiana had a disability.
[Tatiana] My family had no idea
that I was born with a
neuromuscular disease.
It's basically exercise
induced paralysis.
So I can't run, I can't
jump, I can't do stairs.
She was born in a family
that everybody was so active,
and going and running and going,
and she could not do that.
[children laughing]
So I took myself to, uh, the doctor
when I was like 21 years old,
and I was diagnosed in 30
minutes, it was, like, ridiculous.
And it was, like, so affirming
because I thought that,
like, I had a mental block.
[Diane] I didn't realize that
for her it was so painful,
and that is something that I...
I really regret that I
did not acknowledge it.
That is really one regret,
big regret that I have.
[TV presenter] The Diane von
Furstenberg sportswear collection
by Puritan.
[Diane] At the time, every product
that carried my name was a license.
I didn't own anything.
My brand is in the hands
of all kinds of people,
nobody listens to what
I want to do or say.
I didn't realize
how much my identity
was linked to my brand.
Your name has been
on so many products,
excuse me, but do you
still design yourself?
Probably the thing that
we remember you most for,
the thing that really brought
you national, international fame
was your jersey wrap dress.
It was very popular, but
at the end you were stuck.
That was a $4 million package
that you were left with
and yet you...
She said, "I hated my life,
I felt like a failure."
"I felt like a horrible mother.
I felt like a horrible
And that's when I got cancer.
[solemn piano music playing]
I was diagnosed with cancer
at the base of the tongue
and the soft palate.
[Barry] I was a wreck.
But once she knew,
she was determinative
and actually had no
patience for my...
emotionalism over this.
[Fran] I happened to see her the
night she was diagnosed with cancer.
I was sitting next to
her and she said to me,
"I have cancer."
I was shocked.
I said, "When did you
find this out?" "Today."
Today, the day the doctor
told her she had cancer,
she was at a party.
That is a thing that not
that many people would do
because you would
be too flipped out.
I mean, she was a gladiator.
[Deepak Chopra] I taught
her mantras and sutras
and she immediately
intellectually grasped
the importance of
a stress-free mind.
[Diane] I meditated, I went to
radiation every day, walking.
From where I lived, to the
hospital, to my office,
I realized was like a V.
So I would walk like
that, the blocks,
making a perfect V for victory.

I really think that
I got the cancer
at the base of my tongue
because for last few years,
I could not express myself.
That's when I realized that I
had to take back my business.
[bright music playing]
I am coming back from Paris
and I meet a man who has a
company with Marvin Traub.
Marvin Traub was really
the king of retail.
He was the chairman
of Bloomingdale's
when Bloomingdale's
was really it, it, it.
This man says, "I want to take you
to visit a company called QVC."
[station jingle plays]
[TV presenter] Live from QVC, America's
quality cable shopping channel.
Now, QVC was a little tacky.
[presenter] A special
warm place in your heart
for your favorite photograph,
or a place for some potpourri
and a potpourri jar.
[Diane] I mean, they
sold a lot of dolls.
[presenter] Now, the
way these are designed,
the pink one has
little blue eyes,
the gray one has black eyes.
But I tried to be positive.
We walk into the studio,
and there was Susan Lucci.
Uh, do we have a moment to talk
about the botanical styling lotion?
[Diane] Susan Lucci was
a huge soap opera star
and she was selling shampoo.
I can't believe it.
I mean, she sold, I don't know,
$700,000 of shampoo in two hours.
And I thought, "Oh, my
God, this is fantastic."
Good morning, welcome to
the Diane von Furstenberg
Silk Assets Collection.
Who's this, please?
[caller] [on phone] Good morning, Jane.
This is Susan from Lansdowne, Baltimore.
Hello, Susan, please meet
Diane von Furstenberg.
- Hello, Susan. Good morning.
- [Susan] Good morning, Diane.
I did my first show
and it was unbelievable.
You see a television right
there and you see the sales.
[telemarketer] Thanks for calling
QVC, it's available in red.
[overlapping chatter]
[operator] Thanks
for calling QVC.
I mean, we sold a million and four
hundred thousand in two hours.
[Marc] QVC was
very new for people
and I think at that time
there was this
snobby, snooty elitism
that said that if you
were a fashion designer
who used expensive fabrics
and made expensive clothes
for a sophisticated customer,
that you'd be tarnished
if you gave your name
and your talent to an
inexpensive democratic product.
And I never believed that
and Diane definitely
never believed it.
[caller] [on phone] Hi, this
is Gail in Savannah, Georgia.
- Hi, Gail.
- Hi, Gail.
[Gail] Hi, Diane,
hi, Jane. Hello.
I love Savannah.
[Vanessa] She's very
unsnobby about people
and in a way that makes her even
more sort of fabulous. [chuckles]
There is no place in the
world that you can find
that quality at those
unbelievable prices.
[Barry] People would criticize Diane
for going on cheap, cheesy QVC,
but it was great for her.
It gave her a new way
of being in business.
It revived her whole career.
[Diane] I had mentioned
to Barry about QVC.
Barry had left his job, so
we both felt a little bit,
how can I say, outsiders, right?
And so, he took
over the company.
[Lesley Stahl] So you buy QVC.
- [Barry] Yeah, yeah.
- And people were surprised.
Yes, I'll say. They
said I'd lost my mind.
Because you had traded this glamour
life in Hollywood for some...
Yeah, for West
Chester, Pennsylvania.
[Diane] Barry was back in my
life in a more intense way.
I think at the end,
he's my soulmate.
He was first my lover,
he was then my friend.
Barry has been the
consistent love in my life.
[Barry] Little old people
crossing Madison Avenue.
[Diane laughs]
[Diane] My mother was
living with me at the time.
I said to her, "I think
I will marry Barry."
And she said something, my
mother wasn't big on compliment,
but she said something
that I loved.
She said, "He deserves you."
She didn't say, "Oh, yes, you
know, you're 50 years old,
you should be married."
She said, "He deserves you."
Which was a wonderful
compliment to both of us.
This is my off... Oh, this
is when we got married.
This is, we met at the office.
Oh, this is the
restaurant we went to.
- No, no, no, no.
- Yes.
No, Barry, this is my office.
[Barry] My birthday
was coming up
and Diane was giving a party
for Alex and Tatiana and me,
'cause we're all Aquarians.
[Diane] I said, "If you want,
I'll marry you for your birthday."
[Barry] Okay, we'll get
married at City Hall,
we'll tell no one,
and that's what we did.
[Diane] And these are
Annie Leibovitz's pictures.
- [Barry] These are all Annie's.
- [Diane] Yeah.
[Barry] Our friend
Annie Leibovitz
took all of our wedding
pictures as a present.
[Diane] It was very sweet,
he gave me 26 wedding bands
for the 26 years that
we had not been married.
[Barry] I think she's
given a few away,
but she has still
most of them, I hope.
[Diane] Love is life.
It's one of the best
relationships I know.
And, you know, they don't
even live in the same house.
[Seth Meyers] My
wife and I often say,
I really hope that we could
get to the point in our life
where we are as good a fit
as the two of them together.
They will both cut
the other one off
the second they think they're
saying something stupid.
If that's not love,
I don't know what is.
- That's not Coldwater.
- Yes.
- No.
- Yes.
- Nope.
- Yes.
I mean, a lot of people just
say really fast together
like, you know, Barry and Diane.
I mean to me they're separate
because I knew them separately,
but I also see them
as being together,
but not so much as like a couple
in that kinda old-fashioned way.
You know, the world is now,
like, immensely accommodating
to every kind of relationship.
[director] Andy Warhol
said, "I guess the reason
"Diller and Diane are a couple is
because she gives him straightness
and he gives her powerfulness."
What is your response to that?
Ooh, it could be the
other way around.
I don't know what it means.
I don't know what it means.
I think we give
each other power.
It-it seems disrespectful
to what we are together.
We're a great romance.
What are we going to
do when people say,
isn't it just a
marriage of convenience?
I know, Diane knows
our relationship,
and frankly, while it is of
interest to other people,
and they can speculate
the rainbow, who cares?
[inaudible dialogue]
Her children and
her grandchildren
became my family...
and her mother.
[inaudible dialogue]
[inaudible dialogue]
[Fran] Lily lived
to be quite old.
I mean, Diane had
her for a long time.
Diane would take her on
these vacations on the boat.
I mean, most people I know
wouldn't, like, choose,
who do you wanna
invite on vacation?
Mom. Most people, no, they
don't wanna invite Mom, um,
but Diane did.
[gentle music playing]
[Diane] My mother
lived a long life,
she died after Antonia was born.
The day I brought Antonia
home for the first time
is the last time
that I ever saw Lily.
She gave me her word that she
was gonna meet my daughter
and she hung on, barely.
She walked into the hospital
room, she met my daughter.
They have the same
deep brown eyes.
It was probably the most
emotionally intense day of my life
because I was bringing
home my daughter
but I was saying goodbye to the
woman who'd been a mother to me.
And she passed away
about a week later.
[Antonia Steinberg] I definitely
heard a lot of stories about Lily,
especially from my grandmother.
Those things that
she just repeats,
"Fear is not an option,
don't be a victim."
That actually is who she is,
she is very much like that.
I think that's hugely
to do with Lily.
[audience cheering]
Diane von Furstenberg
revolutionized style in the 1970s
when she designed her
signature wrap dress.
Now she's teamed up with her
20-something daughter-in-law, Alexandra
to relaunch that dress that your
mom probably still has in her closet
and is probably still wearing.
[audience applauding]
Around '98, I was
beginning to notice
the people who actually
wanted to wear the wrap dress
were not the people my age...
["One Way Or Another"
by Blondie playing]
but they were the very hip girls
who would wear them with sneakers.
[Talita] A whole new
generation of girls
was sort of going
through vintage shops
and buying this dress.
I've seen so many women who
are wearing wrap dresses
and you're like, "Where
did you get that?"
"Oh, this is my grandmother's."
[TV presenter 1] In
the fashion world,
everything old becomes
new, eventually.
[TV presenter 2]
The wrap is back.
[Diane] This is a major dj vu.
It's like 20 years later
doing almost the same thing
with almost the same dress.
I was 50 years old,
relaunching these dresses
to a whole cool generation.
I was totally living what I
had lived when I was their age.

I thought, I'm too old
to live like old people.
I need something fresher.
I found this carriage
house on West 12th Street
in the middle of butchers.
I mean, my son was horrified.
You know, you find
needles in the morning.
It was a pretty
bad neighborhood.
Now, of course, I didn't listen
to anybody and I bought it.
Come up.
I turned it into a
showroom, office, studio,
and then I bought the
carriage house next door
and I turned it into
this big event space,
and I would have
all kinds of events.
I became the godmother
of that neighborhood.
[Nathan] Her fashion shows
were a bit like a happening.
It was always an interesting
mix of people like, you know,
there would be some
va-va-voom celebrities.
There would be a lot of
kind of New York characters.
And it became like
this huge event.
It was incredible.
I don't think we ever
intended for that to
happen, it just happened.
[Diane] We had a lot of fashion
shows all over the world.
We opened in London,
and we opened in Paris,
and we opened everywhere.
At that time, I was
a visionary again.

From the loser, the nobody,
I was a visionary again.
I'm thinking about
our future, right?
That's what I think
about every day.
[indistinct chatter]
Yeah, this one you like?
Will the brand continue,
will it stand for something?
I hope it stands for something.
This is great,
this is super DVF.
You enlarge it, it's great.
[Talita] It's her baby,
it'll always be her baby.
She'll never actually be able to,
to put a foot out the door ever.
I kind of like that, but
what fabric do you see this,
to put it with
this, the carnation?
- It's so pretty.
- It's so pretty.
- [Talita] Here...
- [Diane] This, I love this print.
[Talita] Yeah, it's my favorite.
[Diane] I think you could
do another color in that.
She tries hard, I can
see her that she's trying
and then, but she, like, has
to come back in and like,
"Well, I don't like this print,
let's tweak it a little bit."
It's like a subtle
polka dot, so...
[TV presenter] Please
welcome the president
of the Council of Fashion Designers
of America, Diane von Furstenberg.
[Diane] Now, I didn't
call myself a designer
until I got the lifetime
award from the CFDA.
[director] Why did
it take you so long?
I don't know, I just thought
by then I had deserved it.
[Karlie Kloss] At the
time when I first met her,
she was the
president of the CFDA
and she was already such
a champion and force
for making sure that models
have the support around them,
psychologically, physically,
mentally, emotionally.
I want you to be strong,
I want you to feel sexy.
I want you to be the
woman you want to be.
I want you to smile
and love life.
I think the need for
women to progress
for her is more important
than anything else.
It's just who she is, it's
ingrained in her being.
[Diane] If I have a voice, it's
a responsibility, it's a duty,
it's an obligation to
try to make that useful.
Where I am in my life now,
I wanna be able to put myself
at the service of women.
[stylist speaking French]
[speaking French]
[line rings]
[Tatiana] [on phone] Hey.
- [Diane] Tats?
- [Tatiana] Hello.
[Diane] Hi, darling, so I am,
I am doing my makeup now. So...
[Tatiana] Okay, so you're
about to go do the awards?
Uh, yes, and I
want your blessing.
[Tatiana] Okay, well, just
remember to be present,
- one person at a time...
- Nice.
[Tatiana] ...just by putting it
together, you've already done your job.
Be the vessel.
- Okay, so present.
- [Tatiana] So...
Yeah, just stay present...
And be the, and be
the vessel, wonderful,
I love you. I love
you, Tats, merci.
[speaking French]
I speak to my
children every day,
probably twice a day, at least.
They've known me since
I was 23, 24, so...
You know, I am a feminist,
I've always been a feminist,
and I, I have enormous
faith in women.
[speaking French]
My role is just helping
connect, expand,
inspire, and advocate.
[crowd applauding]
The DVF award started in 2010.
Since then, we have honored
66 incredible women,
badass women leaders
in 186 countries.
[cheering and applause]
Like these women, my
mother demonstrated
that she had the courage to
fight, the strength to survive,
and the leadership to inspire.
[Nadia Murad] Both of us have
been inspired by our mothers.
So when she told me
about her mother,
I just, you know, felt
so connected to her.

[indistinct chatter]
What DVF exemplifies is a desire
to lift other women
up in every way.
It's deeply personal
and real for her
to make life better for
women who have no voice,
for women who are unseen.
[inaudible dialogue]
I was very lost, uh,
when I met Diane.
She was the first
person who didn't see me
as a victim of the war.
Sometimes she just randomly
reaches out and says,
"How are you, darling?"
And that means a lot.
[inaudible dialogue]
[Hillary] She gets it, you
know, she gets the struggles
that women are facing
across the world,
and I think she's made
a real difference.
You could look at Diane,
oh, everything's perfect,
she married the right people,
she had these beautiful children.
Her life, she's
famous, she's gorgeous.
But you have to look at
what has created that.
And in her case, it's
a story of her mother.
Being in charge is a
commitment to yourself.
[gentle piano music playing]
From the minute I was 22,
I worked, I got pregnant,
I got married, I never stopped.
If this is my
third act starting,
if I am now beginning
the winter of my life,
I don't know how long
of a winter I will have,
but I hope I will have a winter
where I can have an impact.
- Talita.
- Talita, that's good.
The, uh, Leon, the
head of the table.
- [Barry] That's nice.
- Vito, and then Ken.
- Okay, you like my placement?
- Your placement's...
[Diane] [in French] Placement.
[Barry] I said placement,
or did I say placement?
[Diane] Placement.
[Barry] Whatever.
[Diane] I don't really
like the word "retired,"
but now it's about legacy.
I mean, what have I left behind?
The biggest thing I've
left behind is my family.
- Oh, you are wearing a watch.
- Really?
I know, I know, and what
did I write in the back?
"Leon, enjoy every moment of
your life, love DD, 2019."
- Right, isn't that adorable?
- Yep.
[Diane] They will
continue my life.
Just like I continued for my mother
and I continued for my grandmother.
- Hi.
- Hey.
[Diane moans]
You're the sweetest, the best.
You came first.
- You just, you just deliver.
- On time. [chuckles]
[Diane exclaims] Oh...
[both speaking French]
[Diane] No, it was a
movie, it was Love...
- Love...
- Love Actually.
[Diane] The adventure of...
my own life has been incredible,
and I would like my
life to be useful,
not only to my family
or to my work, but
also to others.
Somehow my life
has been a conduit.
For whatever reason,
I had a voice very,
very early on.
And therefore, I
have used that voice
to the best I could.
[breathing heavily]
So it's not finished on purpose
because I don't wanna be
finished until somebody goes in.
[director] So
where are we going?
[Diane] In, in the cemetery.
My resting place...
where I will become a mushroom.
[birds cawing]
This is where I come every day.
[director] Now why do
you come here every day?
Because it's so reassuring.
It's such a good spot.
Sunset goes there, peaceful.
[director] Do you think
about death often?
All the time.
All the time.
But always have.
But with zero fear.
They say, uh...
"Life is a journey and
death is the destination."
So we die for sure.
So I can't even understand
people who don't think about it.
But my husband, he doesn't
wanna think about it.
I don't think I could live without
thinking that I could die anytime,
because that allows me
to have more gratitude
and to enjoy life.
You see, you'll come
and visit me here.
["She's A Rainbow" by
The Rolling Stones playing]

She comes in
colors everywhere
She combs her hair
She's like a rainbow
Coming, colors in the air
Oh, everywhere
She comes in colors
Have you seen
her all in gold?
Like a queen in days of old
She shoots colors all around
Like a sunset going down
Have you seen a lady fairer?
She comes in
colors everywhere
She combs her hair
She's like a rainbow
Coming, colors in the air
Oh, everywhere
She comes in colors
[song ends]
[gentle music playing]

[music fades]
[bright peppy music playing]

[music fades out]