Diane von Furstenberg on Her Inspiration, How to Empower Women Everywhere

By ABC News

Mar 12, 2014 8:18am

Diane von Furstenberg and the Diller-von Furstenberg Family Foundation have honored women who have overcome tremendous obstacles and gone on to transform not only their lives, but the lives of others, at the DVF Awards since 2010.

There are four nominees this year for the coveted People’s Voice Award, one of the DVF awards, which recognizes and supports women who are using their resources, commitment and visibility to transform the lives of other women. To learn more about these nominees and vote for your favorite candidate, click here.

This year marks the fifth anniversary of the DVF Awards and the fashion icon took our questions.

1. This year’s nominees are remarkable. How did you decide upon these four strong women?

They really are. Every year, I have a committee of strong women who I count on to recommend nominees and so I start with a long list of their recommendations and some women I have discovered myself. From there, I narrow them down to the women who really embody the traits we are looking for…the courage to fight, the power to survive and the leadership to inspire.

2. Who would you say has inspired you most in your own life? Where do you look for your daily inspiration?

All women inspire me. I have never met a woman who is not strong. I have been inspired by different women at different points in my life, but always my mother has been a very strong influence for me. She taught me that fear is not an option and she really gave me the courage to take risks in my life and with my career.

3. Many have said that “mean girl” culture is pervasive and female camaraderie is a thing of the past. Do you agree?

Not at all! I see women help other women every day.

4. What’s your advice for young women who are just starting out and trying to make a difference?

Be true to yourself. If you believe in what you are doing, that confidence will be contagious and you will be successful.

5. You appeared in the PSA for Sheryl Sandberg’s “Ban Bossy” campaign. Was being called bossy ever a problem for you?

Sure, I have been called bossy. And I have had people respond differently because I am a woman, particularly when I was starting out in the ’70s. But, really, I think it is about recognizing young women as leaders in the making … it is about encouraging them rather than discouraging them, empowering them to take charge and to be the woman they want to be.

To see more of Diane von Furstenberg’s iconic designs, click here.

 

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Getty Images for Diane Von Furstenberg

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