Diane von Furstenberg received an honorary degree for general merit in recognition of her extraordinary achievements in the field of fashion and entrepreneurship, combined with an intense commitment to the field of women’s rights and human rights in general.
It was in 1974 that fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg, born in Brussels, first created the iconic wrap dress that would make her name, and that of her fashion label DVF. What is less well known is that, for many years, she also served as a goodwill ambassador for the Red Star Line project, the migration museum in Antwerp’s Eilandje district.
“She endorsed the project because of her Belgian roots, and her fondness for Antwerp as a fashion city also played a role. But besides that, she always emphasised her personal experience as an immigrant in the United States”, explains Herman Van Goethem, rector of the University of Antwerp. “Diane von Furstenberg always works hard to bring together cultures and people from different backgrounds. She is also a champion of human rights. Diversity and open-mindedness have become her trademarks, both in words and deeds. You can feel how she embraces ‘the world’ in her fashion designs and in her philanthropic endeavours.”
Von Furstenberg, who heads the charitable Diller-von Furstenberg Family Foundation, will receive the University of Antwerp’s honorary degree for general merit from the rector.
Masterclass: A Talk with Diane von Furstenberg (Photograph album)
Supervisor: Rector Herman Van Goethem