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Enterprising fashion designer receives honorary degree

Diane von Furstenberg, queen of the wrap dress, received our university’s honorary degree for General Merit on 30 March 2017 in recognition of her achievements in fashion, enterprise and commitment to women’s rights and human rights.

An acclaimed immigrant to the US and daughter of an Auschwitz survivor, Belgian-born von Furstenberg is the godmother of the Red Star Line Museum and an admirer of Antwerp’s fashion credentials. “While I myself ended up in the industry rather by accident, the Antwerp school is a serious fashion academy which has made history”, she says. She is currently still the owner of her business, but von Furstenberg hopes to be able to retire from the limelight as soon as possible and concentrate on her humanitarian work.

She is the head of the Diller-von Furstenberg Family Foundation, a charitable organisation that has supported dozens of non-profit organisations over the last couple of decades on projects around community building, education, human rights, arts, health care and the environment. “The election of Donald Trump, his Muslim ban and everything that’s happening today, I’m horrified by it. I don’t yet know what or how. But I must and will do something.”

Read the full article (Dutch) in the UAntwerp Magazine | March 2017