After taking French classes at the French Institute Alliance Francais (FIAF) I had the pleasure of attending their 2009 Fashion Talk Series. Needless to say when I saw the lineup-Donna Karan, Diane von Furstenberg & Catherine Malandrino– I was ecstatic!! These 3 fashion designers are not only extremely talented in their profession but also women who seek to empower other women. How can a fashion designer empower women?? WELL after listening to these 3 women speak I was a believer! Here are my 3 reasons why women fashion designers are the new role models of our generation:
1. Women fashion designers often design clothing they themselves would want to wear-something you can run errands in while still looking effortlessly chic, something that you feel like a woman in, something you feel CONFIDENT in. Point in case: Diane von Furstenberg’s famous wrapdress. Originally popularized in the 70s these comfortable yet ‘oh so flattering’ & chic dresses are an essential piece in every woman’s wardrobe! I’m slightly addicted 4 DvF wrapdresses & counting.…
Sporting my very first DvF wrap dress at brunch at Merkato 55 with friends.
2. Women fashion designers are often drawn to causes/charities/philanthropies that aid other women. Example one: Donna Karan’s Urban Zen Foundation that hosted the “Woman to Woman” forum focusing on ways to bring health & well being to women around the world. Example two: Diane von Furstenberg’s Wonder Woman Comic Book about Diva, Viva & Fifa (get it DvF). Diane said about her comic book, “the message is that there’s a wonder woman inside every one of us”. Proceeds from the comic book go to Vital Voices, a non profit geared towards empowering women in developing countries. You & I may not have the status, the fame or the money of these great designers but there are still ways (check out these sites listed above) we can do our part to aid & empower women around the world…whoop whoop!
3. My last point is the one that effected & empowered me the most. The last question on the last night of the Fashion Talks series was to Diane– “what is the most important lesson you’ve learned in your life?” After several minutes of thinking her response was this, “to be best friends with yourself, the earlier you learn this life lesson the happier you will be”. It took me a while to process this statement but ever since that night I personally have been trying to incorporate this philosophy into my life-TRY IT! Learn how to have fun watching a movie by yourself, going to a museum, eating at a restaurant (something I never thought I’d do but has now become a feat I have tackled while living in NYC), going shopping or whatever your own personal interests may be, enjoy being with yourself.
Diane von Furstenberg