In celebration of Women’s History Month, and before the madness of COVID-19 reared it’s ugly head, I had the pleasure of visiting Diane Von Furstenberg at her studio for a day of “InCharge Conversations.” In partnership with Mastercard, Diane gathered entrepreneurs, influencers, business professionals, and content creators from all walks of life to speak about the ups and downs of womenhood, and how we can all come together to have meaniful conversations that drive change. DVF’s partnership with Mastercard is part of the credit card company’s ongoing commitment to female small business owners and entrepreneurs — and continuing to spotlight their ideas that are creating impact and bringing in bank!
As I ran my hands over the beautifully crafted pieces at the DVF store, I was delighted to learn that the entire shopping experience could virtually interact with me, as well. Hello, technology! QR Codes throughout the store provided information on new products and store initiatives, the history of DVF, educated potential buyers on how to style displayed products, and even helped store associates engage with customers about new seasonal releases that could be saved on their phones. While I’m browsing online boutiques from my couch (as we all should be because social distancing), I’m daydreaming of shopping at DVF.
But that’s not all Diane and Mastercard have been up to! This month the 73-year-old fashion icon launched a podcast on Spotify, InCharge with DVF, offically making her one of my favorite, well-rounded influencers. Her first few episodes feature #BossBabes Kris Jenner and Priyanka Chopra Jonas. With a deep understanding of the changes our world rapidly experiences (we see you, digital), Diane is leveraging her celebrity status to have important converstions about female empowerment on platforms most generations past millenials seem hesitant to take on. Getting left behind in the social media age is simply not in style for DVF. She’s evolved past the 1974 revolutionary wrap dress (which is still absolutely fabulous, no hate) and isn’t afraid to take risks.
Read on for my quick and witty conversation with a woman I deeply, deeply admire.
AL: Our audience is a community of storytellers and content creators. In your partnership with Mastercard, DVF shoppers can unlock the stories behind your garments. Why was it important for your clothing to have a story?
DVF: I mean, it’s important for everything to have a story. DVF is a brand, but it’s also your friend in your closet, so everything has a reason. Why this fabrication? Why this shape? Why this? So, it makes sense.
AL: Yeah, that makes total sense to me. You just announced a podcast which is so cool, “InCharge with DVF”. Can you give us a sneak peek of the kind of conversations you are going to be having?
DVF: We’ll have very intimate conversations about the journey of life and survival. What I like about it, because it’s a podcast, you’re not worried about how you look or what you’re wearing. It’s just about the power of voice and words. I know how to make people feel comfortable so they are not really interviews, they are really conversations.
AL: What about conversations centered around female empowerment? How are you tying that into the podcast?
DVF: I mean female empowerment means nothing to me. That’s what I believe in, you know, so everything I breathe and do has to do with women and confidence and power.
AL: Right, well you’ve been doing it in 48 years so clearly doing something right! But you’re now adopting this, you know, more millennial, experiential methods for your brand. Clearly things are evolving and innovating. How do you keep up with technology?
DVF: I have a CEO who is very tech oriented, and she knows everything that goes on. My husband owns a tech company, and all my friends are in tech. You know, if you live in our time, you’ve got to move.
AL: Defintely, you’ve got to keep innovating. What’s the best piece of business advice you’ve ever received?
DVF: I don’t know. I don’t know because I probably didn’t listen to it. I think the best business advice to have is probably to really think things through and I have a good business plan. Then be ready for anything to happen.
All article images are credited to Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for DVF.