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Diane von Furstenberg

2017 Speaker

DIANE von FURSTENBERG entered the world of American fashion in the seventies, when she arrived in New York from Europe with a suitcase full of Italian jersey dresses she had designed. Her iconic wrap dress soon became a symbol of power and independence for an entire generation of women. Today, DVF is a global luxury fashion brand celebrated for its creative and chic effortlessness and its bold approach to color and print. In 2005, von Furstenberg received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) for her impact on fashion. Now, as the council’s chairman, she dedicates herself to fostering emerging talent and has grown the organization to over 500 members.

von Furstenberg’s commitment to empowering women is also expressed through philanthropy and mentorship.  In 2010, with the Diller-von Furstenberg Family Foundation, she established the DVF Awards to honor and provide grants to women who have displayed leadership, strength and courage in their commitment to their causes. In 2014, the iconic wrap dress was celebrated with the “Journey of a Dress” exhibition in Los Angeles, and she also published her memoir, The Woman I Wanted to Be, translated in five languages. In 2015, she was named one of TIME’s 100 Most Influential People. von Furstenberg is on the boards of Vital Voices, an organization that supports female leaders and entrepreneurs around the world; the Statue of Liberty–Ellis Island Foundation; and The Shed, the new center for cultural innovation in New York City. As a vocal member of the community, she was actively involved in the campaign to save the historic High Line railway and to develop The High Line into what it is today. @therealdvf