­Zalando’s In Conversation Series: Diane von Furstenberg’s take on life and fashion in times of change

DVF is one of the leading brands on Zalando. In this wide-ranging conversation, Lena-Sophie Roeper - Zalando’s Buying Director for Premium & Luxury talks to Diane von Fürstenberg - the brand’s Founder and Chairperson - about life lessons, the current landscape of the industry, and how to stay relevant in the fast-paced world of fashion. 

The secret of life is owning it. You own your imperfections, they become your assets. You own your vulnerabilities, they become your strengths.”

Diane Von Furstenberg, Founder and Chairperson DVF

Dealing with life’s challenges 

  • Refocus: The current challenges created by Coronavirus are unprecedented. We should “take advantage of this moment to think about what is important. On a business level, the world has completely changed, and digital has become more important than ever.” 
  • Being in charge: DVF believes in the importance of authenticity, vulnerability, and “owning ourselves” as we go through life. “The most important relationship in life is the one you have with yourself. Once you have that, any other relationship is a plus, not a must. Being in charge is first and foremost a commitment to ourselves. You own your imperfections, and they become your assets. You own your vulnerabilities, and they become your strengths.” 

DVF’s transformation 

  • Staying relevant: In the fast-paced world of fashion, staying relevant is one of the biggest challenges.. “Fashion is very mysterious...My design was created in the 70s. And the 70s is somehow a decade that never goes out of style. It’s a little bit like the 30s. Very timeless, very effortless, very easy”, says DVF on her signature wrap dress’ evolution and future. 
  • DVF vs. TVF: “[Talita is] more romantic, and her prints and colors are more soft. DVF is more contrasting”, Says DVF on the newly founded brand by her granddaughter Talita von Furstenberg.

The human side of the fashion business

  • High performance vs. wellbeing: To have a better balance between high performance and wellbeing in fashion’s competitive environment, DVF stresses again the importance of establishing a “wonderful relationship with ourselves”, of taking moments of silence and solitude. 
  • Changing the status quo: Fashion shows should be done “for the consumers”, DVF advocates. “Remember who your consumers are. Remember who the wearer is. Remember who actually wears your clothes. And focus on that.” 

This interview is part of Zalando’s In Conversation Series. We talk with leading brands on the fashion industry’s most important topics, from sustainability to digital transformation and human wellbeing.