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Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.

Thursday's Connector: Diane von Furstenberg

June 22nd, 2010
04:36 PM ET

Samantha from "Sex And The City" said it was blasphemous to wear anything else - she was talking about the wrap dress by Diane Von Furstenberg.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/06/22/von.art.gettyimages.jpg
caption="Diane von Furstenberg is your Connector of the Day."]

Von Furstenberg first unleashed her revolutionary design four decades ago and has since changed the face of fashion forever. Today, she's a household name.

With humble beginnings as the Belgian-born daughter of holocaust survivors, Von Furstenberg made her entrance into high society when she married a prince she met a university.

Von Furstenberg built her fashion empire from scratch in 1970 with just $30,000.

By 1976, she’d sold 5 million of her iconic designs and landed herself on the covers of "Time" magazine and "The Wall Street Journal."

However, her cult following amongst Andy Warhol’s Studio 54 set wasn’t enough to keep her in New York.

In 1985, she moved to Paris to set up a publishing house, cosmetics line and home shopping business.

She’s since been lured back to the big apple and is now married to an American media mogul.

Aged 63, Von Furstenberg is at the peak of her career as the president of Council of Fashion Designers of America.

She’s used the position to speak out against size zero models and her famed wrap dress has finally been enshrined for posterity in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. PHYLLIS VON MILLER

    HOW MUCH MONEY HAVE YOU MADE WITH YOUR HSTERN JEWELRY COLLECTIONS AND YOUR OWN DESIGNS?
    WHAT IS YOUR INSPIRATION?

    June 22, 2010 at 5:09 pm | Reply
  2. Jurgen R. Brul

    Hello Diane von Fürstenberg and CNN friends,

    How can we STOP Anorexia, STOP Cocaine use and other Fashion Crime in the Fashion Industry?

    Jurgen R. Brul
    Paramaribo, Suriname

    June 22, 2010 at 5:47 pm | Reply
  3. Katherine Alzapiedi

    Dear Diane,
    When are you going to open a shop in Amsterdam? We're waiting for you!

    Sincerely,
    Katherine Alzapiedi
    Amsterdam, The Netherlands

    June 22, 2010 at 7:37 pm | Reply
  4. Sam Weeks

    You were one of the first people to turn a fashion label into a global brand - how important do you think fashion is in today's economy?

    How has the fashion industry changed since you first started?

    Is fashion heading in the right direction?

    June 22, 2010 at 8:46 pm | Reply
  5. Andrea Leon

    What advise would you give to entrepreneurs who want to enter into the fashion industry?

    Andrea Leon,
    Caracas, Venezuela

    June 22, 2010 at 8:54 pm | Reply
  6. Kelsey

    Hello!

    What do you consider the fashion essentials every woman should have in her closet?

    You've had a lot of success throughout your life, but what do you consider your biggest accomplishment and your biggest failure?

    Who is one of the most interesting people you've ever met?

    How did you make the transition from an economics student to a fashion designer? Had you always been interested in designing? Has your economics background helped you?

    In your recent interview with TIME you said that you are a traveler, a nomad. Where are your favorite places in the world? Where is the most beautiful place you have ever been? the most interesting? the most surprising?

    Thanks,
    Kelsey
    Madison, WI

    June 23, 2010 at 12:57 am | Reply
  7. James CK Ho

    Dear Diane,

    With the digital age we're now witnessing a diversification of collaborations across industries allowing for a new age breed of designers. How do you perceive the future of design? In particular for interior design and fashion.

    Sincerely,
    James CK Ho
    Hong Kong, China

    June 23, 2010 at 2:45 am | Reply
  8. michel dagondon

    what can you say about the fashion sense of imelda marcos?

    michel dagondon
    caraga, philippines

    June 23, 2010 at 2:49 am | Reply
  9. regina davidoff

    Dear Diane,
    Every time I buy one of your new dresses, I feel like I am receiving a beautiful and very generous gift from you. Thank you!!

    Regina Davidoff,
    New York, NY

    June 23, 2010 at 3:29 am | Reply
  10. Cyn

    What was your favorite era to design in?
    Who do you see as the up-and-coming designers to watch out for?

    June 23, 2010 at 9:11 am | Reply
  11. Keira

    Hello!

    My question is: The fashion industry has been 'talking the talk' against rail thin models lately. Do you think the fashion industry needs to 'walk the walk' now & fill the catwalk w/ women who aren't rail thin (like a 6, 8 or even 10)? Don't you think that would convey the message clearly to other women & girls out there?

    Thank you much!!

    Keira
    NY

    June 28, 2010 at 2:42 pm | Reply
  12. akif

    What advice would you give to young designers in order to catch on?

    June 30, 2010 at 9:03 pm | Reply

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