Diane von Furstenberg Opens Up About Her 50-Year Career in the First Trailer for Her Documentary (Exclusive)

Diane von Furstenberg is opening up about her extraordinary life in a new documentary

Published Time: 03.06.2024 - 16:31:14 Modified Time: 03.06.2024 - 16:31:14

Diane von Furstenberg is opening up about her extraordinary life in a new documentary.

PEOPLE has the first trailer for Diane von Furstenberg: Woman in Charge, in which the legendary fashion designer, 77, looks back on her childhood, work, lovers and more.

The film, which was directed by Academy Award winner Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoyand Trish Dalton, debuts June 25 on Hulu in the U.S. and Disney+ internationally.

Known as the woman who reinvented the dress, von Furstenberg’s impact on the fashion industry and beyond is felt the second the trailer starts.  

“The adventure of my own life has been incredible,” the designer says at the beginning of the clip, which fast-forwards through highlights of the fashion icon and philanthropist’s life. She continues, “I was in charge of my destiny. I became the woman I wanted to be.”

The documentary features sit-downs with von Furstenberg’s family and high-profile friends, including former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton — who notes that von Furstenberg “was one of the first women who broke through the glass ceiling in business” — as well as media mogul Oprah Winfrey — who declares, “Now there’s a woman.”

In a press release, the film is described as an “unprecedented look” at von Furstenberg’s storied life. As such, the luminary, who has previously chronicled her journey in books, doesn’t shy away from discussing her highs and lows through the decades — from partying at Studio 54 and meeting her “soulmate” to suffering loss and rebuilding her brand.

“My company was in trouble,” von Furstenberg recalls. “I had to take back my business — and reinvent my life.”

Now, as von Furstenberg celebrates the 50th anniversary of her wrap dress, she’s reflecting on her legacy. PEOPLE spoke to co-director/producer Obaid-Chinoy ahead of the trailer’s release about chronicling von Furstenberg’s inspiring journey.

Obaid-Chinoy, who describes the documentary as “an anthem of freedom,” says it’s full of valuable lessons. 

“We often see lives like Diane's from afar, and we think that everything is perfect and they lead this incredible life. This is a closer look at her life to see that she picked herself back up and she reinvented herself throughout.”

“Every single woman should watch this film to see how far we've come and to realize that she can be the architect of her own life. You can fall down and pick yourself back up. Don't hide because the world has put labels and boxes and glass ceilings. You can find your own road and be true to yourself and be true to the world.”

She continues: “And men should definitely watch the film to know what the true power of a woman is.”

Obaid-Chinoy and von Furstenberg first met in 2012, when the designer presented the filmmaker with Glamour’s woman of the year award. Of Diane von Furstenberg: Woman in Charge, Obaid-Chinoy says, “I wanted to tell Diane's story because it is a tour de force.”

“I screened the film the other day for someone and they turned to me when it was over and said, ‘Is there something that hasn't happened to Diane?,” Obaid-Chinoy adds.  -

“The child of a Holocaust survivor, she manages to find a vocation — a calling — she marries a prince Egon von Furstenberg, she moves halfway across the world to a foreign country, she has a successful business, she gets a divorce, her mother has a breakdown, she runs away to Bali, then she runs away to France, her business falls apart, she restarts her business, her first husband dies of AIDS. It's one thing after another.”

The PEOPLE Puzzler crossword is here! How quickly can you solve it? Play now!

Obaid-Chinoy explains von Furstenberg did so much more than just create a fashion label, she blazed a trail for women at a time when they couldn’t even have a line of credit without a man cosigning for them. 

“For a woman to start a successful business at that time, and to then fail at it and then to restart it is an incredible story of persistence. Acknowledging, embracing and owning mistakes: there's an important lesson for all of us in that.”

Even today, 50 years after the first wrap dress hit shelves, von Furstenberg continues to challenge the status quo for women.

“Diane embraces age at a time when women are being told that they should look and act younger,” Obaid-Chinoy says. 

“The fact that von Furstenberg says all the lines on her face are stories — the map of her life — it is a beautiful way of looking at age and a reframing of the way women see themselves.”

Obaid-Chinoy says it was important to have von Furstenberg’s now-adult children, Alexander and Tatiana, participate in the documentary as well. 

“This is a film about the public DVF and the private DVF. To see a woman juggling a business, juggling children and also trying to live her own life, having her children speak to that was important.” 

Of including her famous friends, Obaid-Chinoy explains they helped set the stage for "different facets of Diane’s life.”

“Oprah was wonderful because she set the context for what it was like for women in the 1970s. Christian Louboutin talks about how she has this fun side to her. Hillary Clinton has been with her as she's championed women's rights and speaks to that aspect of her life.”

“Diane has lived a very full life, and each one of our family and friends are helping us piece that life together.”

Never miss a story — sign up forPEOPLE's free daily newsletterto stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

With the documentary set to make its worldwide debut in a few weeks, Obaid-Chinoy shares her biggest takeaway of von Furstenberg’s journey thus far. 

“I came away with this affirmation that I can have my own yellow brick road and that I must be true to myself and own the way I want to live my life. I must not allow the constructs that society places on women to clip my wings.”

Watch Diane von Furstenberg: Woman in Charge on Hulu on June 25.

Related Articles

Follow Us