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Of a Kind | Diane von Furstenberg

By John Wogan

Diane von Furstenberg’s Magic Talismans

At her New York City office, the designer shows T a selection of her treasured talismans.

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Diane von Furstenberg’s Magic Talismans

Jade and jasper pomegranate, date unknown. “The forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden wasn’t actually an apple — it was a pomegranate. It’s my favourite fruit. My husband gave me this one.”

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Diane von Furstenberg’s Magic Talismans

Gold, crystal and mother-of-pearl sculpture, date unknown. “This is a tiny pagoda enveloped in gold, most likely from Thailand. I bought it at an antique shop decades ago. It feels very powerful to me.”

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Diane von Furstenberg’s Magic Talismans

Ivory sculpture, circa 1800s. “These carved animals resting on the back of a large turtle represent the Chinese zodiac. My friend Hamilton South gave it to me one Christmas, and it sits on my desk.”

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Diane von Furstenberg’s Magic Talismans

Clasped diary affixed with crystals, a glass eye and a mirror, 2019. “This is a creation by my friend Fidji Simo — a clasped diary encrusted with crystals, a small mirror and a glass eye — which I keep in my office. I love anything with an evil eye for protection.”

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Diane von Furstenberg’s Magic Talismans

Quartz and gemstone wand, 2018. “This magic wand, which resides on my desk, is by Sandra Müller, a jewellery designer based in Beverly Hills, California. The colours represent the chakras, which are the energy points throughout the body used in ancient Eastern meditation practices.”

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Diane von Furstenberg’s Magic Talismans

Jade, agate, jasper and rhodonite paperweight, 1800s. “It’s a 19th-century piece from western Russia, with stones native to that region. I bought this one myself from the New York City antique shop A La Vieille Russie. I feel it’s symbolic of the harvest and prosperity.”

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“Many of the good things that have come into my life have happened by fate or by accident,” says Diane von Furstenberg. Through the years, the 73-year-old fashion designer has collected talismans of all kinds. Some she’s found on her travels for her brand — which has grown, since her iconic 1974 silk jersey wrap dress was introduced, to include 85 stores on four continents — others were given to her by friends or family. “Their power is in the energy of the person who gives them to you, or the place where they came from,” says von Furstenberg, who was born and raised in Belgium. The designer’s company bears the surname of her first husband, the German prince Egon von Furstenberg, with whom she had two children: a son, Alexander, and daughter, Tatiana. Her granddaughter Talita now designs TVF, the brand’s more youthful line, which launched last April. This month, the DVF Awards — von Furstenberg’s initiative to support female philanthropists — presented a $50,000 grant to four honorees working to better the lives of other women.

Illustrations by Aurore de la Morinerie