“I design for the woman who loves being a woman.” ~ Diane von Furstenberg, Chairwoman of the Council of Fashion Designers of America

Summary: Diane entered the world of fashion in 1970 when first moved to New York City and two years later, founded her own company. In 1974, she introduced the wrap dress, which came to symbolize independence and power for an entire generation of women. Diane has dedicated her life to empowering other women through fashion, philanthropy and mentorship. As Chairwoman of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), she helps to foster emerging talent in design. Also, Diane is on the board of Vital Voices, a non-governmental organization that supports female leaders and entrepreneurs around the world. In 2010, with the Diller von Furstenberg Family Foundation, she established the DVF Awards to honor and provide grants to extraordinary women who have displayed leadership, strength and courage in their commitment to their causes.

Nationality: Belgian

Industry: Fashion & Philanthropy

Q: You’ve talked a lot over the years about how your brand is about helping women feel confident. That word also comes up a lot in discussions about women and leadership, and that many women feel less self-assured than men. What is your take on that? on nytimes.com

A: I don’t think confidence has anything to do with gender. To be confident or secure has nothing to do with gender. Can you fake being confident? No. That’s the worst because then you look like an idiot. You have to trust yourself. That’s the most important thing. In order to trust yourself, you have to have a relationship with yourself. In order to have a relationship with yourself, you have to be hard on yourself, and not be delusional. It all goes back to the same thing.