The American Questionnaire. Diane von Furstenberg.

By Loïc Prigent

The American Questionnaire. Diane von Furstenberg. - © System Magazine

Loic Prigent: When and where was the last time you said to yourself: ‘Wow this is the American Dream’?

Diane Von Furstenberg: As I am about to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the wrap dress, I cannot help but look back and be so thankful! I have indeed lived an American Dream and continue to live it.

What character trait do you love the most in Americans?

The best quality about America is its resiliency.

What was your best investment in America?

To live here, to have my family be born here…

How can you make joie de vivre happen in your American life?

Joie de vivre starts in your heart!

What scares you the most in America?

The guns… too many of them!

You did trunk shows in America back in the day; what did you learn about American women in the process?

I learnt everything about women, fashion, confidence… I still learn from women in my stores… I will never stop learning from watching women and establish intimacy with them.

What is the stylish effortless tip women should steal from American women?

I don’t think American women are particularly effortless… this is why my products are successful. That is my contribution to them.

Where do you stand on the Miley Cyrus twerking scandal?

At first I hated it, then I saw her hosting Saturday Night Live and I loved her… She is 20! Let her enjoy it all.

In France they have a famous woman’s bust to incarnate the Republic in all town halls. Who would be the perfect American woman to do the same thing in America apart from you?

Hillary Clinton, Gloria Steinem, Madonna, Marilyn Monroe, Jackie Kennedy… and many more.

What is the dream you had as a child that you have achieved?

To have become the woman I wanted to be… independent, free and on the go.

What is your new dream as an adult?

For my granddaughters to become the women they want to be.

Who are your favourite people to talk to in the fashion industry?

My fellow designers.

Who is your favourite model right now?


I love that you kiss some people when you bow at the end of your shows. Who are you kissing and why?

It is a very nice moment because I can feel the love of people. I always kiss my husband and my children. I try to make as much eye contact as possible… I want to thank everyone for being there and supporting me.

Who is your favourite photographer of all time?

Irving Penn.

How does it feel to be on the cover of Newsweek magazine?

Pretty amazing… especially when you’re 29!!

How American are you on a scale of 0 to 10?

5 American, 5 European. European education. American adulthood.

Photograph by Ara Gallant, 1981.

Taken from System No. 2.