From product to mindset, this MasterClass gives you an overview on how one of the most successful fashion icons, Diane von Furstenberg, has built her brand up to what it is today, and reflects on what it took to get there. I believe it is an excellent course for anyone who is branching off on their own as Diane shares valuable lessons she’s learned throughout her career.
- The assignments that were given were useful (and very varied) – they made you look at your brand/product offering in a holistic way.
- I believe this course would be useful for any entrepreneur, I am not a fashion designer, yet I found the lessons useful and will be applying them to various aspects of my business and career.
- You do not need too much fashion knowledge to take this course.
- Diane’s style of teaching is appealing. She doesn’t fluff anything up, but rather speaks from personal experience and reflects on what has worked for her within her own career.
- I would have enjoyed more assignments as there weren’t assignments for every lesson in this MasterClass.
- It isn’t a very long MasterClass in comparison to some of the others – it totals about 3 hours of video content.
- Due to it being quite short in length, I think there was an opportunity to go into some more detail in some of the lessons.
- This is not a technical course; it gives you hints and tips but it doesn’t go into detail about how you should go about building a brand and/or business on social media etc. With this being said, the tips Diane gives you in this MasterClass are a good starting point as she encourages you to evaluate what it is you want and where you want your career to go.
Belgium-American fashion icon Diane von Furstenberg best known for her timeless wrap dress teaches a MasterClass on how to build a fashion brand.
In this MasterClass, Diane reflects on her career – including its successes as well as its failures in order to give you hints and tips on how to go about building (and growing) a fashion brand.
Things to consider before buying this Masterclass
This MasterClass is about building a brand within the fashion industry. However, you do not need to be in the fashion industry to take this course – I believe it is useful for anyone who is looking to build their brand. With this being said, this MasterClass is skewed towards fashion design as some of the business tips and advice Diane provides only relates to this specific discipline.
This course is not about the technical side of fashion design. If you are looking to learn about the ins and outs of how to go about designing and making clothing garments, this is not the course for you. However, if you want to learn to sell your product and be successful in your career, you may find Diane’s lessons in this MasterClass useful.
This course does cost $90 and isn’t too long (about 3 hours of video content in total), but I believe this was enough time to get the essence of Diane’s brand-building message across.
As someone who is not in fashion, I found this MasterClass very informative and inspiring. I learned a lot – not only about Diane’s career in fashion, but about building a brand and being true to myself along the way.
Presenting Diane von Furstenberg’s MasterClass
This MasterClass includes 17 lessons (around 3 hours of video content), a class workbook, and the option to upload videos to get feedback from fellow classmates and even Diane in ‘office hours’.
Diane von Furstenberg’s MasterClass sets out to teach you “how to build a brand” and I think it achieves this. Diane takes you through everything from coming up with a brand name and trademarking it, to connecting with your customers and marketing in the most effective ways. I learned a lot about brand-building and growth from this MasterClass and was very happy with what knowledge I have walked away with.
Lesson 1: Introduction – In the introduction Diane hits the ground running by emphasizing that your most important relationship is the is the one you have with yourself This is something that is reiterated throughout this MasterClass.
Diane’s second piece of advice is to focus on your intention, no matter what. She believes that if you remain focused on your intention, and why it is you’re doing what you’re are, you will achieve what you’ve set out to do.
Lesson 2: Discovering The Industry – Diane starts this lesson with a set of self-reflective questions that she encourages you to ask yourself before launching into the fashion industry. She goes on to speak about the importance of being specific with your dream as she states that the more specific you are, the more likely you are to be successful. Diane goes on to suggest that you discover the industry by studying and learning from successful fashion brands and doing whatever it takes to get work experience.
Lesson 3: Developing Your Product – Part 1 – In this lesson Diane discusses how to go about developing your product and/or line. She suggests starting with what inspires you – nature, people, textures etc. and building off of this. Next, she stresses the importance of creating a mood board, and reiterates its importance once again… Diane says that your mood board is the starting point of your story and this is what is going to guide your product at the end of the day.
Diane goes on to speak about making and fitting your product on models. She states that morphology should be one of your first considerations as you need to determine how certain styles will fit on people’s bodies. Once you’ve got a style (and sample) she says that a fit model needs to try it on because as a designer, you need to assess what it looks like on an actual body, and make adjustments accordingly. Lastly, Diane recommends enlisting help as you grow – it is impossible to do everything on your own.
Lesson 4: Developing Your Product – Part 2 – Diane says your product needs to stand for something in order for it to be marketable. She recommends attempting to tap into a niche market so your offering is unique. The next tip she gives in this lesson (which I thought was great!) is that you’ve got to remember that you are the consumer too. See what people want. Think about what you want. And then go out and make it. In this lesson she also looks at and critiques student portfolios – I found this interesting to watch as she gives you some useful tips for portfolio creation and layout.
Lesson 5: Product and Market Research – In this lesson Diane speaks about identifying your market, knowing who your competitors are and studying what your competition is doing. Through analyzing portfolios, Diane also speaks about using storytelling for marketing purposes and the value of going directly to the consumer with your product.
Lesson 6: Building Your Brand DNA – I found this lesson quite interesting as it is something that I have often struggled with. What is your brands’ personality? What makes it unique? For DVF it is her iconic wrap dresses that she admits got boring for her at a stage, but she stuck to it and it brought her success. In this lesson Diane gives some fantastic tips on how to go about building your brand DNA – advice I will be using in the near future!
Lesson 7: Taking Your Brand Into The World – Diane speaks about putting your product out there in this lesson. No matter how big or small you are, she says it is important for you to communicate your brand’s story and arrange for your products to be presented in some way or another.
Lesson 8: Connecting With Your Customer – I enjoyed this lesson as it involved Diane reflecting on what it was she did throughout her career in attempts to connect with, and learn about her consumers. Diane advises going out and getting work experience in retail if you want to have face-to-face encounters with potential consumers.
Lesson 9: Using Social Media – This lesson was my least favorite of the series as I don’t feel I learned much from it. Diane basically explained why using social media is important for marketing your brand but she didn’t give details on how to go about it.
Lesson 10: Brand Extensions – In this lesson Diane discusses the pros and cons of brand extensions and licensing deals. What I enjoyed here is that she gave examples from her career where she had made mistakes and learned from them – these, I found, were valuable to hear from someone with so much experience in the industry.
Lesson 11: Student Session: Catherine – All I can say is that if you’re going to be meeting DVF, go prepared! Diane really pushed Catherine in this student session as it was clear that Catherine didn’t have a solid career path in mind. It was quite tough to watch (I empathize with Catherine), but wow… I was blown away with how strong and determined Diane is! In this lesson you see how and why Diane got to where she did in her career.
Lesson 12: Student Session: Danny – This student session went more smoothly than the last. Danny had a clear vision in mind and is talented. Diane gave Danny some useful career tips and left him with suggestions to consider
Lesson 13: Diane’s Journey – Part 1 – I loved this lesson. It was so interesting hearing about the start of Diane’s career and what doors were opened for her (at seemingly perfect times) that allowed her to enter the fashion industry in the way that she did.
Lesson 14: Diane’s Journey – Part 2 – This lesson builds on the last as Diane speaks about embracing learning from whatever situation you’re faced with and finding your niche in the fashion market. This lesson also touches on the return of the wrap dress and how Diane went about re-launching this product years after it had left the shelves.
Lesson 15: Mental Toughness – This lesson was by far the most inspiring, and if I had to recommend one lesson for anyone to watch, it would be this. Diane discusses being true to who you are, building on your character, practicing confidence, trusting your instincts and learning from your mistakes.
Side note: this lesson is quite women-centric but I still think that on some level, everyone would be able to learn from the personal tips Diane relays in this video.
Lesson 16: Diane’s Third Act – This lesson wraps up the MasterClass and Diane explains why she has communicated what she has in her lessons. She encourages you to leave the MasterClass with a ‘Yes! I will do it!’ attitude. I found this a very inspiring way to end the course.
Lesson 17: Bonus Chapter: Philanthropy and Giving Back – This is a bonus lesson on social investment and giving back to the community. Diane takes you through what it is she does through CFDA to help designers at every level and why it is she does so.
Cool Feature: Members of the Diane von Furstenberg’s MasterClass can ask questions and Diane responds. Here is how that looks…
This MasterClass seems to have been very well received! From most of the comments that I’ve read, people really enjoyed Diane’s lessons with the exception of the social media class – I can understand this because that was my least favorite lesson too. On the whole, there have been positive reviews about this MasterClass. Here are what some people had to say about it:
Here are some alternatives to Diane von Furstenberg’s MasterClass:
Fashion design courses:
- Beginner fashion designer looking for a course to boost your knowledge and expand your skills? Here’s a course for you to have a look at: Fashion Design – Create Your Own Fashion Ideas
- The University of Fashion also offers a range of lessons on fashion design that range from beginner to advanced level. Check out their website and list of offerings here: University of Fashion
Fashion brand courses:
- If you’re wanting to launch your own fashion brand, it may be worth looking into the following course by Udemy.com that teaches you about product ID, packaging, development plans, timelines and more: Fashion Brand Launch: Product ID, Design & Development
- Here is another course that will teach you about both business development and technical fashion design: Fashion Product Development and Technical-Design
Brand-building courses: If you aren’t wanting to learn from someone in the fashion industry, but are interested in building your brand, here are two courses to look into:
I would recommend this course to anyone wanting to build their brand and/or start and grow their own business. This course provided me with a set of valuable skills and made me reflect on what it is I need to shift my attention towards and how I am going to go about achieving what I want to do. I thought Diane was an excellent instructor – confident, comprehensive and inspirational.