BERLIN — Make it three for three: Diane von Furstenburg was on a three-day hop in Germany late last week to present “Die Frau, die ich sein wollte,” the third language version of her autobiography, which is now available in English, Italian and German. Chinese and French translations of “The Woman I Wanted to Be” are planned for the end of 2016. “We still have to sell it to Spain and Japan,” the designer said during a visit to Berlin’s department store KaDeWe Thursday.
The tour started Wednesday evening with a reading and book signing at the Autorenbuchhandlung, or Author’s Book Shop under the S-Bahn arches of Berlin Savignyplatz. It was packed event, “and I even saw old friends — like Veruschka [von Lehndorff],” von Furstenberg remarked, smiling.
Another friend, David Chipperfield, filled in the Thursday night slot with a dinner for the designer at his Berlin home, and after Friday’s book signing at the new Unger concept store Uzwei in Hamburg, von Furstenberg was having dinner with Jil Sander, “who I haven’t seen in maybe 25 years so I e-mailed her.”
DVF has been part of the Unger assortment since 2002, and while the business started with a modest corner several years ago at KaDeWe, the DVF shop-in-shop has already expanded and looks to grow again in the near future, a KaDeWe executive said.
“It’s a nice market,” von Furstenberg said, noting her brand doesn’t have its own store in Germany yet. “But we have a good specialty store business [in Germany] and at some point we will open a store in Munich.” This was her first visit to Berlin, “and I really hope to come back. It’s an exciting place, and the people are extremely nice and were so enthusiastic at the book store last night,” she said.
Von Furstenberg couldn’t keep her own enthusiasm in check for Germany’s woman in charge: Angela Merkel. “Don’t you think she’s pretty amazing? She’s remarkable. I think she’s the most powerful woman in the world. Until we get Hillary [Clinton],” she quickly added.
Getting back to the topic of threes, von Furstenberg noted her business is “really starting the third era. We have a new, young, Italian chief executive officer [Paolo Riva] and he’s putting together a new team. So I’m very excited to be kind of giving the keys of the house. He really gets the message of the brand and it’ll be exciting to see how he handles it. And hopefully I can pull back a bit.”
However, that won’t mean inaction. “I’ll probably use my voice. There are a lot of people who have no voice these days,” she commented, “ so if you have one, it’s useful right now to use it…for women, human trafficking. I never thought we would go back, and in many places we have. There’s no choice but to be active.”