Diane von FurstenbergLOS ANGELES, Jan 24, 2008 / FW/ — The iconic Diane von Furstenberg, the woman and the brand have always been ‘one and the same’ in the eyes of the whole world. Inventor of the famous ‘wrap dress’ Diane von Furstenberg graced the cover of Newsweek after selling 5 million wrap dresses; the world witnessed one of the most important fashion innovations for the 20th century.

It was in 1972 when Diane von Furstenberg launched her eponymous line. Since then, the label had become a household name and had expanded to a full comprehensive line of ready-to-wear, swimwear, handbags, footwear, luggage, accessories, fine jewelry, fragrance and rugs.

But, now, it is time to separate the brand from the woman who created it. The new campaign featuring Natalia Vodianova, under the creative vision of David Lipman, marks von Furstenberg’s commitment to establishing her company and her style on their own terms, independent of her image.

As David Lipman said, the intention is “to move the brand away from the person, even though her soul and her spirit are still in it.”

Inspired by von Furstenberg’s desire to reflect the DNA of the brand — the power of women and their courage, renowned artist Francois-Marie Banier produced some 50 black and white images, and with strong brushstrokes, smudges, and spatters, he applied bold color and writing to each photograph to create layers of complexity, both visual and emotional, seducing the eye and the mind.

Photographed in Paris and New York, David Lipman captured Natalia in a way she had never been seen. “I found her immensely beautiful, with a very interesting soul,” says Banier of Vodianova. But in the end, he says, what inspired him to take on the project was the opportunity to create an image of optimism in the life of a woman.

Known for his iconic portraits, painting and writing, Francois-Marie Banier’s friendship with von Furstenberg dates back to the early seventies. The mutual appreciation for each other’s talent has grown to an intimate friendship and thus inspired this seminal collaboration.

With David Lipman, as Diane’s partner in this project, they have succeeded in bringing to life Diane von Furstenberg’s vision for the brands debut campaign.

“With so many magazine images that are so completely retouched, we’ve gone in the opposite direction showing the soul of a woman. It is the most beautiful thing I’ve seen in my career. It’s aggressive and strong in the most elegant way,” says Lipman.

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