Diane Von Furstenberg's Journey Of A Dress Exhibition Opening Celebration - Red Carpet

DVF Wrap Celebrates 40 Years of Freedom

It all started with a sash. This year revered designer Diane Von Furstenberg honors 40 flourishing years of her iconic wrap dress.

According to the Belgian-born designer, malady formerly Princess Diane of Furstenberg, millions of powerful women including Michelle Obama have worn her classic dress since its birth in 1974. The wrap dress is so ageless that even today the designer said she spots 40-year old designs on the streets of destination cities like Miami.

It was former Vogue editor-in-chief Diana Vreeland who in 1970 first discovered Furstenberg and the one dozen jersey designs she created and brought with her from Italy to New York. After a few years of dedicated work, the DVF wrap dress was born in 1974.


Photographed at age 23 for a Women’s Wear Daily design announcement, Furstenberg said that she thought the photograph showed too much white space. Solution? She filled the image with the words “feel like a woman, wear a dress.”

“We’re going to celebrate this dress and what this dress means – which is freedom and empowerment and confidence,” she is quoted on her website.

Empowered mantras define the DVF brand. Designed for the career woman, the wrap dress led a liberating global style movement. Over one million dresses sold by 1976 when The Wall Street Journal named her “the most marketable woman since Coco Chanel.”


Today the DVF brand offers four complete collections each year as well as beauty, luggage, scarf, eyewear and home collections. The wrap dress has proved so influential over women’s fashion that it is showcased in New York’s Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

During the 1980s, Furstenberg opened her first luxury store on Fifth Avenue to showcase a fresh Diane couture line. Though she kept the line strong while living in Europe, when she returned to the states in 1990, it was a line she developed for QVC that allowed her to fully reclaim her name. Global reach for the line came in 2001, along with the opening of the DVF West Village home base.

DVF devotees have until April 1 to jet to Los Angeles where Furstenberg’s “Journey of a Dress” exhibition celebrates four decades of the dress that “started it all.” The retrospective, which features over 80 vintage and contemporary styles, has already made stops in Moscow, Beijing and other worthy destinations.


The brand’s link print-lined floor and bubble gum colored walls inside the Wilshire May Company Building exude DVF fervor and opened with a red carpet event that attracted everyone from Ana Wintour and André Leon Talley, to Gwyneth Paltrow and Demi Moore.

Of course, the designer’s young granddaughter Talita arrived at the opening in a whimsical leopard and floral wrap dress. The Furstenberg women embody a “like mother, like daughter” way of life.

Talia’s mother Tatiana devoted a decade as creative director and director of image of DVF and successfully helped relaunch her mother’s company and wrap design in 1997 after a 15-year retreat. With talks of Talita pursuing fashion in her future career, the DVF global luxury lifestyle brand – with iconic wrap design – is forecast to stand the test of time.


-Andrea Zarczynski