Fashion label Diane von Furstenberg becomes a victim of the coronavirus lockdown as the UK arm goes into administration and the designer closes her flagship London storeby Hayley Richardson For Mailonline
- Belgian fashion designer, 73, revealed news in letter sent to customers yesterday
- Formerly Princess Diane of Fürstenberg best known for her signature wrap dress
- DVF finance chief said pandemic means company is resetting its business model
- Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19
Diane von Furstenberg has closed her flagship Mayfair store as the UK arm of the fashion business went into administration amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The Belgian fashion designer, 73, known for her body-hugging jersey wrap dress, revealed the news in a letter sent to loyal customers yesterday.
In a nod to the pressure that the coronavirus lockdown had put on the business, it read: 'It's with a lot of sadness that DVF UK had to close due to the very difficult present situation.'
The fashion brand's finance director Andrew Stokoe said in a statement that DVF is 'resetting its business model'.
'That, unfortunately, has resulted in a decision to close our store in Mayfair, London,' he added.
'We are continuing to invest in e-commerce and the DVF.com platform and remain committed to support our loyal customers in addition to our global network of franchise partners and wholesale accounts.'
It means the Bruton street store in central London, which was closed during lockdown, will remain shut while other non-essential stores in England will be allowed to reopen from June 15.
Diane's clothes are a favourite among many famous faces including the Duchess of Cambridge, Gwyneth Paltrow and Madonna.
Victoria Beckham, who became a close friend after they met at a Los Angeles school attended by the Beckham children and von Furstenberg's grandchildren, called her an 'amazingly inspirational person — not just as a designer but as a woman'.
Formerly Princess Diane of Fürstenberg, the designer initially rose to prominence when she married into the German princely House of Fürstenberg, as the wife of Prince Egon von Fürstenberg.
The couple have two children, Prince Alexander and Princess Tatiana von Fürstenberg, and Diane is now a grandmother-of-four, including Princess Talita.
Last year 21-year-old Talita - daughter of Prince Alexander von Furstenberg - debuted her first fashion collection - TVF for DVF - saying the 23-piece collection — the first of many to come — had been 'a long time coming'. Previously Talita modelled clothes for the brand's Fall 2018 lookbook, with DVF calling the teen her new 'muse'.
Following their separation in 1972 and subsequent divorce in 1983, Diane has continued to use his family name. Diane has been married to businessman Barry Diller, 77, since 2001.
In 2015 the designer was dubbed the 'Queen Mother of Fashion', with her business powerhouse estimated to be worth $450million. Time magazine included her in its list of the 100 Most Influential People and she was listed in Forbes as one of the world's 'most powerful women'.
The DVF brand is the latest casualty of the coronavirus, which has seen high street favourites Oasis and Warehouse fall into administration, leading to more than 200 immediate job losses.
Last month Debenhams, which employs about 22,000 staff, confirmed it had entered administration for the second time in a year, while Cath Kidston also filed for administration, putting 950 jobs at risk.
On 28 February 2020, Fürstenberg was made a Chevalier de la Legion D’Honneur for her contributions to fashion, women's leadership, and philanthropy.
Prior to its London closure, DVF had 45 shops around the world. Its flagship boutique is in Manhattan's Meatpacking District.