Diane von Furstenberg is best known as the iconic fashion designer behind the famed, chic wrap desk. She is also a successful entrepreneur and founder of DvF, a multi-million dollar global luxury lifestyle brand. Diane recently spoke at the American Express CEO Bootcamp event for female entrepreneurs and provided a candid discussion on what it takes to succeed, her rise to fame, and her advice to fellow business owners.
She provided several interesting tidbits about her career path including the fact that she did not have a business plan for decades and is only now realizing the need for one. She also shared that for many years she took her famed wrap dress for granted and even resented it, even though it paid her bills and put her on the map. It was only recently as she planned the celebration for the 40th anniversary of the dress that she began to realize the value of the dress and how it truly defined her brand, vision, and company. Diane also talked about the fact that she has made many mistakes but does not regret any of them because she has learned from all of them. When asked about her biggest challenge she stated "the truth is I don't remember; because if it was something that is bad I turned it into something good".
It was hard to pick just 10 quotes from DvF, because almost every one of her statements involved an inspirational quote or nugget of wisdom that a female entrepreneur could apply to her business. Here are a few of my favorites:
1.) "You cannot minimize the power of confidence. Confidence about business and who you are. You can say the same thing but if you say it with confidence, it sounds differently. You can't fake it."
2.) "Regardless of your business model, you have to have your truth, believe your truth and stay on brand. It is all about the relationship you have with yourself - trust yourself to know that you can do it."
3.) "You can learn a lot from my mistakes more than my success."
4.)"I never tried to make a fashion statement, I was a conduit for the dress. When I created that little wrap dress I did not know that I was creating something that would last 40 years".
5.) "Its always the daughters that bring back the mothers, its important to stay close to the young."
6.) Diane's advice for budding entrepreneurs: "Go for it! Make sure it makes sense".
7.) "Be true to yourself, be true to your idea but be hard on yourself and judge your product. And once you have been hard on yourself, than be nice to yourself...Listen to everyone but follow your heart, so when you make mistakes they are your own mistakes"
8.) "I never feel it was a disadvantage to be a woman, it is my duty to try and empower others. If I have a voice it my duty to give voice to women that don't...through my work by making them sexy....through mentoring, through philanthropy."
9.) "Be the woman you want to be. When you go to bed, think about the woman you want to be because if you think it, you will be it."
10.) "Style is not about what you wear but how you are"
For more inspirational quotes from successful women business leaders, click here.
For Arianna Huffington's secrets to success, click here.
Anjali Varma is "The Modern Mompreneur", her site and YouTube channel provide entrepreneurship, lifestyle, and parenting tips for the modern mom. She is also the owner of Kidville Bethesda, an enrichment facility that offers classes, retail, haircuts, and birthday parties for newborns - 6 years old. You can find Anjali on Twitter and Instagram @anjvarma