The Woman I Wanted To Be by Diane von Furstenberg
I’ve always admired Diane von Furstenberg and I have actively watched every documentary interview video and read all the magazine interviews of hers I could find online. I also watched both seasons of the show ‘House of DVF’. I have always thought of her as being someone who is full of life, incredibly positive and daring! Compared to many of her contemporaries in the fashion industry, she has always stuck out to me. I think it’s the way she carries herself; she exudes confidence and always appears comfortable in her own skin. As soon as I heard about her book, ‘The Woman I Wanted to Be’, I was eager to read it.
During a recent family vacation to Cape Town in South Africa, this was the book I chose to read whilst at the resort we were staying in. I read it on my Kindle app on my iPad. The book is a candid memoir about her private life, thoughts and experiences. She begins her story from the very beginning of her life and she takes us through her early childhood, adolescence and adult life. Her life is quite fascinating. She shares the story of her father, a businessman, and her mother who was a Holocaust survivor before taking us through her childhood. What I found interesting was the way in which she talked about the insecurities she had about her curly hair, something that continued into her adult life. As a naturally curly haired woman, it’s something that I can relate to as well.
Reading about her teenage and young adult life was just as interesting, she didn’t hold anything back. She is so honest in the way she shares about her first boyfriends and what her family life was like at home. I really felt that I connected with her desire, as a young adult, to work and to become independent. By this point, I was glued to the book. I really enjoyed reading about how she first got work experience and how everything she learned, she was able to use again at a later point in her life. There is also mention of the very glamorous social circles she was introduced to. She makes mention of several artists and models she worked with or met before they became ‘super’ models.
I think people who love fashion and the DVF brand, will also enjoy reading about how the little wrap dress came to be and the different mountains the DVF brand had to climb. What makes it so interesting is also the fact that she openly talks about all the things that were happening within the company and her private life during the different chapters of the company’s life. I almost felt like a fly on the wall; in on every conversation and private thought she had.
Personally, I was moved by the way in which she talked about her fears but also how she overcame them. Von Furstenberg writes about her how her mother had a strong influence on her. It was her mother who taught her that fear wasn’t an option.
The book was very refreshing because of how detailed she was in everything that she wrote. I feel that she wrote every word from her heart. I’ve long regarded Diane von Furstenberg as a strong, confident woman who has helped empower and encourage millions of women all over the world. Her sincerity and openness about all aspects of her life and how it all played a role in helping shape who she is; an icon, a businesswoman, the president of the CFDA, an inspiration to woman all over the world, was delightful.
The Woman I Wanted to Be is a compelling and inspiring biography. Upon completion, I knew instantly that I would want to gift a copy to friends and family. If you’re going away on vacation or heading to the park, I highly recommend you take it with you.