Purple Magazine
— S/S 2009 issue 11


photography by TERRY RICHARDSON 
creative director and text by OLIVIER ZAHM 


For our opening story we asked designer and fashion icon Diane von Furstenberg not only to wear the best looks of the season, but also to collaborate with us on the whole concept of the shoot. Why did we ask Diane to make such a contribution to Purple Fashion? For her glamour,  which has been part of her life since her days at the legendary Studio 54. For her creativity and fearlessness. For her beauty, which seems to ignore time. And for her love for New York City, its architecture and its art. In a way, she’s a true child of Warhol, mixing art and commerce without ever compromising herself.

Diane left Paris for New York in the early ’70s, when she was barely out of her teens, but already married with two kids. One of her first jobs was at the agency that then represented Terry’s father, Bob Richardson, so she knew Terry when he was a kid. But, instead of just becoming a socialite, she parlayed her fashion addiction into a career in fashion design, creating a line of clothing that included a wrap dress which is now a museum piece.


After the death of the artist Lowell Nesbitt in 1993, Diane bought and refurbished his studio building, a former police stable in New York’s meatpacking district where she lived and worked, transforming the space into a virtual salon for some of New York’s most celebrated artists, painters, writers, and designers. In 2004, when she sold the building, she stayed in the neighborhood and renovated another space at 440 West 14th Street. This new space is the epicenter of her life today: her flagship store, her design studio and even her private apartment in the penthouse — with her art collection scattered throughout the whole building.

Some 30 years later, Diane is part of American fashion history. She designs for her own label. Her company is independent, now owned by her children. And she’s president of the Council of Fashion Designers of America.

For Diane glamour means empowerment. As an active member of the feminist generation, so powerful in the US at the time of her arrival, she has always considered fashion to have political meaning for women, especially working women. She recently published Be the Wonder You Can Be, her own comic book based on Wonder Woman. Diane is a connecter. From the jet set to the art set, from fashion to feminism, she reaches across cultures and generations.


Natasa Vojnovic @ ELITE, Jessica Stam @ IMG, Masha Orlov, Poppy De Villeneuve, Harley Viera Newton, Lissy Trullie and Leigh Lezark, models — Dennis Lanni @ ART DEPARTMENT, hair — Frank B. @ THE WALL GROUP, make-up — Christina Zuleta @ KATY BAKER, manicurist — Seth Goldfarb and David Swanson, photographer’s assistants — Dana Veraldi, stylist’s assistant – Thanks to Diane von Furstenberg’s staff

[Table of contents]

S/S 2009 issue 11

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