Diane von Furstenberg is one of the premier names in American fashion.
The designer, known for her distinctive prints and her signature wrap dresses,has focused her efforts on women taking charge. This year she's established the DVF Awards to honor outstanding women leaders.
The Diller-von Furstenberg Family Foundation has supported the awards, which will go to four women whose leadership and commitment have transformed the lives of other women around the world.
Designer Is Inspired by Women's Strength
This morning the designer told "Good Morning America" that she created the awards because her mission is to help women who give back.
"Women have always inspired me so much, my mother was an incredible inspiration. And the older I get, the more I am impressed by women. I have never met a woman who is not strong," von Furstenberg said.
Von Furstenberg has long been involved in Vital Voices Global Partnership, a nongovernmental organization that trains emerging women leaders and social entrepreneurs around the globe. Two of the recipients of the inaugural DVF Awards are from Vital Voices.
The third recipient will receive the People's Voice award, which will honor an American woman for her extraordinary leadership in promoting women's rights. The public will vote for the recipient from a pool of five nominees.
Designer Prefers Everyday Clothing Over Red Carpet Fashions
The fourth award will go to a prominent public figure who uses her visibility to raise awareness about the challenges facing women.
Even though one woman will win, von Furstenberg said she is happy to give the exposure to all five.
"Each one is just unbelievable, amazing, of strength, of dignity, they save every kind of women," Von Furstenberg said.
The DVF awards will be presented March 13, 2010, on the closing night of The Daily Beast's Women in the World Summit at the United Nations in New York City.
Von Furstenberg said she has already raised a million dollars for a different cause, Haiti, collaborating with other members of the fashion industry in designing a T-shirt that supports relief efforts in the earthquake-ravaged country.
Von Furstenberg said the T-shirt will go on sale this weekend.