Published by: Julia
Diane Von Furstenberg’s Masterclass is a must for budding fashion designers. It is also a must for entrepreneurs and anyone who wants to get the most out of their talent.
Who is your fashion design instructor
Diane Von Furstenberg (DVF) is a remarkable woman, who has succeeded in practically everything she has tried to do in life. Over the years, she has successfully founded and ran several businesses. Most of which relate to the fashion and beauty industries. There is no doubt that Diane knows how to set up and run a business.
She has won multiple awards for her work and products. In 2006, she became the president of the Council of Fashion Designers of America.
Her iconic wrap dress is still popular over 40 years after she introduced it to the world. It is seen as such an important design that an example of her early dress is included in the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
There is no doubt that Diane is a creative person as well as a successful businesswoman. Anyone who takes her Masterclass will learn a huge amount.
Below is my brief roundup of what is included in this fashion design and business masterclass.
Building a strong foundation
Diane starts by encouraging you to explore. Not to be afraid to try things, to do different things. Often, the skills you learn will prove useful later in your career.
At one stage, she worked in a print factory. It was not something that she particularly enjoyed. But, later she realized that her time in that factory is where she learned all about colour and got her eye in. She also worked as a fashion photographer´s assistant, which helped her to get her eye in and understand the industry better.
People who take action learn the fastest. Anyone who waits or the perfect opportunity to come along will be left sitting on the sidelines. You need to get out there and start doing to learn.
There´s no job that´s too small, no stupid jobs, only stupid people. Sometimes you will learn something while you are working that takes you in a different direction.Diane Von Furstenberg Masterclass
But, you do need to be passionate too. Building a fashion brand is a long journey. So, it is important to understand why you are doing it and bring something new and fresh to the market.
Developing your product
The product that launched and sustained DVF´s fashion brand was her Jersey wrap dress. She had been working on the design for some time before she launched that product. In fact, she made the first ones out of silk while working in the fabric factory.
She perfected her design by making those dresses up in different fabrics and prints. Looking at how the dress sat, moved and flowed when worn and tweaking as she went.
In this part of her course DVF takes you through the various elements that have a significant impact on how a garment looks. Including the following:
- A simple way to learn what your target customer wants
- Understanding the psychology of colour and how it impacts purchasing decisions
- What colour-blocking is and how to use it to your advantage
- How to sculpt garments to fit your clients
- How to give your product a backstory
DVF finishes of this section using two case studies, they are:
- Finding a Focus
- A Twist on Ties
They are both interesting stories, that do actually teach you something. Diane is very good at using actual examples to underline what she has just taught you.
Making sure that your fashion design stands out
The world is completely product polluted, too much of everything…so what will your brand bring. How will it be different?Diana Von Fustenberg Teaches Building a Fashion Brand Masterclass
There are plenty of important lessons in this part of the course. Top of my list is being clear about what it is that you have to offer that is different. DVF shows you how to identify what that is and ensure that your products do actually stand out.
Fashion market research 101
This is a great section of the course. I think that anyone who runs a business should go through it several times. It is that good.
Her first-mover strategy is pure genius. Constantly watching your market and understanding the changing needs of your customers is essential. But, it is a time-consuming exercise. In her masterclass, DVF shares several ways to stay ahead of the game and do so easily without burning up too much of your time to do so.
How to build your fashion business brand
Good branding is essential, especially in the fashion industry. Diane refers to it as your DNA and it is a good way to look at it. Your brand is a constant. It is how people see you, your clothes, your company and what you have to offer.
You need to learn to use your brand to communicate with your target consumers. The best way to do that is to tell a story so that you can connect with people on an emotional level. Diana explains how she did that during this section of the course.
- Giving your brand a story
- How to create a brand portfolio
- Choosing a name for your brand
- Creating the right logo
- Evolving your logo and brand
- Trademarking your name
- Launching your brand into the world
- Extending your brand – (There is a whole section dedicated to growing your brand by branching into new areas)
I really like the fact that DVF covers practical things like trademarking. Far too many entrepreneurial courses skim over this kind of thing. Diane covers things in far more detail. The fact that she includes an example of her brand strategy in the workbook was especially helpful.
How to make a strong connection with your consumer
The closer you put the product to what the consumer wants and the more authentic you are the longer you will last.Diana Von Furstenberg – Fashion and Business Masterclass
The key to any business is giving the customer what they want, what they need. Something we are all acutely aware of. The tricky bit is pulling that off. Unfortunately, she does not explain in much detail how to do that, especially if you are not from the same demographic as the people who are likely to buy your clothing designs. Although she does explain how to look beyond the obvious and discover untapped markets and underserved consumers.
Using social media to build your fashion empire
Some retail sectors naturally lend themselves to being grown using social media. Fashion definitely falls into that category.
People love to share what they are wearing with their friends. To watch what others are wearing and find out what is trending. Social media is a great way to do that. Fashion marketing by its very nature has to be visual, which is fortunate because images are at the heart of most social media platforms. But, it has to be done right. During this section of the course Diane explains :
- How to develop your online personality
- How to tweak your brand for an online environment
- Why you need to be authentic
- How to encourage feedback from social media and use it the right way
Throughout her fashion masterclass, DVF references the work of other designers and brands. It is refreshing to see her showing appreciation for what her competitors are doing. I saw it as a sign of her confidence in what she is doing and teaching and evidence that she is actually doing what she teaches in her lessons. For this section, she uses Paola Russo´s social media presence as an example.
Diane Von Furstenburg Student Sessions
Quite a few of the Masterclass.com instructors use discussions with their students to drive home, in a nice way, what they have just taught. DVF did this too. Not everyone is going to like this approach. But, I found here student sessions to be interesting.
In one video she takes Cathrine Fourier through her portfolio explaining how she could improve the way she presented everything. The other session with a young designer called Danny who had just graduated was less revealing. But, useful nonetheless.
Learn from Diane´s fashion journey
This was not my favourite section of the course. Diane jumped about a bit. But, I think someone who is involved in the fashion industry will get a lot more out of it than I did. But, she did cover some new ground in this section. So, it is well worth going through these two videos.
Building the right mindset to succeed in business
I have taken most of the business Masterclasses and mental toughness and strength is something they have all actively worked to develop. Diane is no different. As she says setbacks are inevitable, so you need to be mentally tough enough to cope with that. To learn from that situation, pick yourself up and get on with things.
Whether it is for your career or for your life, it’s about building your character because you could lose everything, but you never will lose your character.Diane Von Furstenberg Teaches Building a Fashion Brand – Masterclass.com
Who is DVF´s fashion masterclass for
Like so many of Materclass´s courses, Diane´s course does not fit into a neat little box. It is certainly not just for fashion students and would-be designers. Much of what you learn when taking it is about running a successful business. With lessons that any entrepreneur could apply to their own enterprise.
Plus, of course, if you like Diane´s clothes you will really enjoy this masterclass. As I think would any fashion fan. All in all, I would say that this was a really good course.