NEW YORK -- Diane Von Furstenberg is a woman on a mission.
She wants the world to know that television home shopping is here to stay, and revels in revealing the kind of QVC sales figures that make other designers envious.
In 1984, Von Furstenberg sold her name to licensees and moved to Paris after having created a sensation with a wrap dress that was so successful, it was featured on the cover of Newsweek. She returned to the U.S. in 1989 and remembers people saying, "She's a has-been, she made a few dresses."
But things change.
"Now," she says, "I have the momentum of success."
Not only did she manage to buy back her name, Von Furstenberg managed to angle her way into the red-hot center of electronic retailing.
The latter is partly due to her close friendship with QVC chairman Barry Diller -- who bought the company at her behest -- and partly due to her unbridled support for the medium.
"A lot of people can edit other people's ideas or stimulate other people's ideas," said Diller. "She's instinctively creative, with ideas, concepts and themes. She has the ability to produce genuinely good ideas."
In addition to designing and selling a line of clothing on QVC, Von Furstenberg is playing a major role in the development of Q2, QVC's weekend lifestyle channel.
As creative planning director of Q2, a job she began on March 3 after collaborating with Diller on the concept for nearly two years, Von Furstenberg is more sought-after than she was as a Seventies party girl.
It's a feeling she relishes after getting the cold shoulder when she tried to reenter the fashion business.
"Q2 is really a team," Von Furstenberg said. "I don't have a day-to-day function, but I spend a lot of time working on it. I don't want to run the company, but I know a lot of people.
Von Furstenberg -- who describes her new position as "an ambassador, talking to people and conceiving ideas" -- has been working the designer circuit like a seasoned politician, trying to broker deals with everyone from Karl Lagerfeld to Madonna.
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