Who do you look up to as a role model? For me, when it comes to business and fashion, I can’t help but love and emulate designer and businesswoman Diane von Furstenberg. When facing a business or fashion decision, I have asked myself on more than one occasion, What Would DVF Do? (WWDVFD?) (Usually the answer is Work harder.)
Diane von Furstenberg (DVF) started her company with nothing but an idea and a scrap of fabric, and built a multi-million dollar enterprise selling jersey wrap dresses–all by the time she was in her early twenties. By 26, she was flying around the world making hundred-million dollar deals, negotiating with factories, appearing on the cover of Newsweek, and in the middle of the night, sketching designs. One of my favorite stories of her is of when, at the ripe young age of 25, she rolled her carry-on suitcase into the office of Diana Vreeland, Vogue Editor in Chief, and pitched her jersey dresses. Can you imagine? Reflecting on that experience, she said “my youthful confidence is what made me push open that door.” A good reminder to never lose your youthful confidence, no matter what age.
Diane’s brand is about more than just clothes; it is about confidence, and feeling empowered. Just what I am hoping to achieve through this blog…though my medium is not fabric, it is nature.
Which brings me to what I wanted most to share today: Diane shares my die-hard love of nature. If you follow her on Instagram, you know! In her recent memoir, The Woman I Wanted to Be, she opens up about how nature weaves its way into her life:
“My legs are stronger than they were when I was thirty because of all the hikes I love to do. Uphill, the steeper the better….Hiking is a meditation of sorts to me and I use it as a time to go within myself and enjoy the effort of climbing and the beauty of nature. We linger at the top, enjoying our accomplishment, and Barry leads the way down. That’s when we talk, often our best talks, because of the long silence of the climb and the space that nature has given our minds to get clearer. I love those moments.”
Photo credit: @DVF
Can you relate? I feel as though Brandon and I do some of our best bonding when hiking or camping. We are taken out of our comfortable house and routine, and dropped into another type of experience, and those shared moments entwine us like a creeping vine.
Later she writes,
“But what brings me to Cloudwalk [her farmhouse] more is the beauty of nature. The older I get, the more important it is to me. The fact that we cannot control nature appeases me and somehow brings me back to a normal dimension. Whereas my size is magnified in the city where everything is man-made and every problem is mine to be fixed, when I go on a walk in the forest and climb the hills around Cloudwalk, I feel small and I like it.”
Photo credit: @DVF
I echo her thoughts, and add that when I spend time outside I sense something greater at work–a supreme power–and am reminded that I am even less in control of the universe than I thought. Back at home in the city, where I control everything from an app or the click of a button on the thermostat, it is easy to forget.
“Nature is never still. Things are growing, ripening, aging, fading, and then starting again. The trees are beautiful even when bare. I love every phase and I am endlessly fascinated by that life cycle moving on. Nature never stops.”
This can be seen in every season, from fresh buds in Spring to the decay of leaves on the forest floor in winter.
Throughout her life, Diane von Furstenberg has made time to get outdoors and seek the moments and spaces that inspire not only her art but rejuvenate her for the grueling lifestyle of a successful businesswoman.
She inspires me, what can I say. I hope her wise words tempt you to set foot onto that trail or path near your home.
PS. I loved this article: “Diane von Furstenberg on the 9 Beauty Rules Every Woman Should Know Before She Turns 30”…especially relevant as my 30th is approaching!