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The Woman I Wanted to Be Hardcover – Oct 28 2014

3.3 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (Oct. 28 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451651546
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451651546
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.8 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 590 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #63,925 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


“[a] warm, confiding memoir.” (VOGUE)

“It’s so good, you’ll want to take notes.” (PEOPLE)

“Diane’s book evokes everything she has lived through. It is honest, direct and fascinating — just like the author herself!” (Anna Wintour)

“In this era when girls are made to think it’s better to be a princess than a person, Diane von Furstenberg’s The Woman I Wanted to Be is just the reverse. I thank her for honesty, spirit, encouragement to be one’s own self in public and professional life, and a memoir that covers more human experience than most novels. Pick it up — you won’t put it down.” (Gloria Steinem)

“Diane von Furstenberg’s story offers a behind-the-scenes look into the ups and downs of building a global business, creating an enduring brand, and finding true love. By sharing the path that enabled her to become the woman she wanted to be, Diane shows all of us how to live a life of focus and passion.” (Sheryl Sandberg)

“Diane is the original modern princess who created the iconic wrap dress and has influenced fashion everywhere with her talent, lifestyle, elegance and beauty. Every girl will love reading her book.” (Kate Moss)

“It has been a gift to read this book, and a true privilege to learn and discover that much more about DVF. What a thrill to be given an opportunity to peek even further into her life.” (Sarah Jessica Parker)

“The legendary designer Diane von Furstenberg has a lot in common with her iconic wrap dress: practical yet sexy, demure yet revealing, sturdy yet fragile. This memoir is an intriguing page turner filled with her revelations about life, business, family and love. Fearless about naming names and probing her own failings, she analyses a ‘little fling’ with Richard Gere as sincerely as she does her midlife retreats from the fashion area—and her dynamic comeback. Her core philosophy? ‘Turn negatives into positives and be proud to be woman.’ She emerges, at 67, as a witty and reflective grownup, albeit one with plenty of surprises up her beautifully draped sleeve.” (MORE)

“. . . an honest an introspective look into the labyrinthine history behind one of the most iconic female entrepreneurs in fashion. Written in elegant yet straightforward prose . . . The designer candidly speaks of missteps and periods of her life which guided her away from what she truly wanted out of her life, and how she dealt with each situation, with grace and aplomb.” (Bustle.com)

“Diane von Furstenberg’s life combines the hallmarks of a fairy tale with the more sober reality of a career woman—and single mother—who longs to have it all. . . . The book is as charming and erratic as von Furstenberg herself . . . the early pages paint a vivid picture . . . her account of those first years is colorful and poignant.” (Finanacial Times)

“[N]ow I find Diane the super person that folks are most curious about. Diane never let herself fail at anything; or if she faltered, she climbed back up. It is a pleasure to read a ‘positive’ book that is not just manufactured nonsense . . . We get a real look at a woman in her 60s who's still in her prime. She has a lesson for all of us.” (Worcester Telegram)

“von Furstenberg’s candid memoir contains hard-earned wisdom that she eagerly shares with women of all ages and backgrounds. A fascinating read for anyone interested in the behind-the-scenes world of contemporary fashion.” (Booklist)

“In this captivating memoir, fashion powerhouse von Furstenberg thoughtfully reflects on her colorful life—and doesn’t skimp on the juicy details. Von Furstenberg begins movingly by writing of her need to please her mother . . . then moves on to her life as a jet-set princess and fledgling designing in New York City, her invention of the iconic jersey wrap dress in the early 1970s, and stories of her children . . . She outlines her many positive contributions to the fashion industry, but admirably doesn’t sugarcoat business missteps . . . This is a fascinating glimpse into the life of one of the fashion world’s more enduring stars that will fascinate fashionistas and fans of strong, creative women.” (Publishers Weekly)

“With humility and honesty, von Furstenberg's reflections on a life lived in the grandiose couture spotlight will delight both trendy, fashion-forward readers and budding designers eager to follow in her footsteps.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“No stranger to the spotlight DVF's most recent venture, a book entitled The Woman I Wanted to Be chronicles how privilege opened certain doors in her early success, how much is still needed to be done to achieve equality, an insight into the behind-the-scenes ups and downs of running a global business and a story that is in equal parts wisdom, sobering reality and fairy tale.” (Los Angeles Fashion)

“Designer Diane von Furstenberg’s life reads like a fairy tale. She details it all with sincerity and humility in this memoir.” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

“an inspiring, compelling, deliciously detailed celebrity autobiography, the book is as much of a smashing success as the determined, savvy, well-intentioned woman who wrote it.” (Chicago Tribune)

About the Author

Diane von Furstenberg entered the fashion world in 1970 and four years later introduced her famous wrap dress. Her luxury fashion brand, DVF, is now available in more than fifty-five countries all over the world. Director of the Diller-von Furstenberg Family Foundation, she is an active philanthropist and supporter of emerging female leaders and social entrepreneurs. In 2015, she was named one of the Time 100 Most Influential People. She is the author of The Woman I Wanted to Be and Diane: A Signature Life.

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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I wanted to like this book and the first chapter was interesting. I found her mother's story very encouraging. However, the book became a narcissistic account of her life with little insight.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I enjoyed the book until a certain point where too many details start making the book boring. However, it's a journey that only the writer can appreciate since it was hers. Glad I read it though, but enjoyed mostly the beginning of the story only.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For any women who wants to understand the fashion business and what it actually takes. read it!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Bought as a gift, had it quickly and my friend loves it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa42bcef4) out of 5 stars 236 reviews
66 of 71 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa835aa8c) out of 5 stars Less about her amazing accomplishments as a business woman and designer, more about her stifling love affairs with men. Nov. 12 2014
By Go Idaho - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have painfully pushed through 40% of this book and can't go on any longer. This is not about the woman she wanted to be, this is about the woman and every single stifling love affair with countless men. I wanted to read about this amazing woman, her business, how she grew it, her ideas, her hardships and successes. The stories of her children and mother are wonderful, however, they jump around like a child's maze, left, right, around and back again. Time in this book jumps forward and backward. She explains in the beginning the book is organized based on how these things influenced her life. However, it comes out as a disorganized pile of clips of her life. Maybe it gets better as the book goes on, but I am moving on.
28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa835acd8) out of 5 stars Quick, fun read, but wouldn't read it again Nov. 11 2014
By VK - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I enjoyed reading DvF's The Woman I Wanted to Be. I was really excited about this memoir, which seems to have been timed perfectly with the recent launch of DvF's reality TV series. Aside from the first chapter, which tells the story of Diane's mother surviving the Nazi concentration camps, the rest of the book feels like an impersonal account of Diane's personal and professional milestones, with random stories sprinkled in between. Her tone in this book feels distant and her powerful personality, charm, and sense of independence didn't really shine through. She glossed over the hardships she endured in her personal and professional life, almost sounding like an E! News reporter recapping an update instead of speaking about her thoughts and emotions as she experienced these hardships. I like that she included an interesting glimpse into her childhood, her "boring" youth, and all the different stages of her life until now, complete with all the whirlwind romances and big loves (aided by the journals she kept). It was a quick, fun read written honestly about Diane's life as a princess, socialite, designer, daughter, mother and more.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa835ac9c) out of 5 stars I bought audio book on CD--read by the author. Jumped around a lot--not as good as I expected. Hard to relate to her story Dec 26 2014
By D. Christofferson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The book hopped around all over the place, from men, years, periods of success in or out of business. I could not relate to it overall--not because she succeeded, but because how she got the money and how she got her start--was not really viably explained. I did really appreciate the opening and the later references to the impact of her mother in a concentration camp. I do not believe that made Diane the "independent woman who lives like a man" that she sees herself to be. I do see that she has achieved great success and that never occurs on it's own, so she seems to be talented hard working women who achieved success. However, Diane lived a life of luxury and privilege which in no way reflects somebody starting their own business. She was a socialite and designer, who got her fame from who she originally married. Yes, she designed and achieved a lot and said she did it on her own, but that was not apparent. She was defined by men, who she used as much as she chased them. I am impressed by her success, and she was self-empowered because she had money--and let's not forget the connections. The people she operated in from her young twenties, are just not people or a lifestyle we would be exposed to. I do not believe her business would have been created or grown without any of those connections and lifestyle--especially from marrying the title--I can't believe she got all the money all on her own.
32 of 37 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa193b1b0) out of 5 stars Empowering - DVF calls on everyone to go with your gut and chase what you want Oct. 30 2014
By MCS - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Through this book you will go on a journey with DVF - of hopes, lovers, failures (professionally and personally) and achievements - all are told with the same energy. DVF has a wonderful way to reflect on the highs and lows of her past with fondness. It is impossible to not come away from this read without questioning if you are living the life you want - and the inspiration to persevere until you get it.
26 of 31 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa193b048) out of 5 stars A Life Of Focus and Passion Nov. 2 2014
By prisrob - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The little dress that started it all. The wrap dress that made Diane Furstenberg a household name. Diane von Furstenberg has written the tome of her life. She has done it her way, lived her life, but also written her book in a manner that exemplifies her independence. We meet not only the woman, her family, friends and work colleagues, we get to see how her philosophies in life impact her, and what is important to her.

'The Woman I Am', essays in three parts, Roots, Love, Beauty, Diane gives us her story. She pays homage to her mother, a survivor of the Concentration Camps, her strength and beauty,and how that affected both of them. She was a courageous woman, and Diane exemplifies her life in her actions. Diane was a child of privilege. Her young days as a socialite, living in Europe, looking for her life's passion, her marriage to Egon Von Furstenberg, the births of her children, they are the most important people in her world. Onto the creation of her wrap dress that opened her world to design, art and business.

The second part of her book is dedicated to 'The Business of Fashion', which encompasses the American Dream, the Comeback Kid and the New Era. She has built and rebuilt her business several times, from clothing to beauty, to boutiques. She symbolized the new generation of independent women. She always wanted to pay her own bills, purchased her own homes, Cloudland in Conn., apartments, travel. She overcame cancer, a horrific car accident, building her own brand with her children as part of her business. She discusses her marriage to Barry Diller and some of her romances. Diane is a nice woman, she does not yell and shout, no gossiping stories about anyone. Her success was built by her, she remains the strong, independent woman she has always wanted to be.

This was a revealing look at Diane von Furstenberg by Diane von Furstenberg. Her life on the pedestal, her philosophy of empowering others, especially other women. Her trials and tribulations, she has overcome a great deal, but she has also received a great deal. Her life has been good, and she did it her way.

Recommended. prisrob 11-02-14