She’s a huge fashion mogul who’s created her own empire, so it’s no wonder that Diane von Furstenberg made Time’s List of 100 Most Influential People in 2014. She sure is influential, for lots of reasons, but did DVF go to college? Well, technically, but she didn't study fashion. Von Furstenberg may not have studied the art form in college, but she's been teaching us all a thing or two about getting dressed for the past 40 years. The designer is proof that with determination and confidence, you can do whatever you please (sometimes without that degree).
Furstenberg created a brand that empowers women to look and, more importantly, feel good, plus she serves as an amazing role model to ladies who want to make their own way in the world. “I sell confidence,” DVF said in an interview with Time. And boy does it fly off of the rack. But perhaps most impressively, she did it all without setting foot in a design school.
The designer actually studied economics at the University of Madrid before transferring to the University of Geneva and eventually leaving the program because she “never really got into” the field. She met her first husband, Prince Egon von Furstenberg, while in school and around the same time began working for an Italian textile manufacturer. Then, shortly after marrying von Furstenberg, she ditched economics once and for all, left school and came to live in New York. It was there that she harnessed her drive for independence and her gift for textiles to create something women would love for decades to come — her world famous wrap dress.
What she sold not just a dress, but a lifestyle, a spirit for women. The wrap dress design was versatile, allowing women to do whatever they felt like doing in it: going to work, going to dinner, running errands, all of the above. “I celebrate freedom; I empower women,” von Furstenberg said, “but, it’s the spirit around all of that that I would like to last after me.”
Von Furstenberg teaches us that you don't necessarily need a degree in something to change the face of the industry.
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