IN HER WORDS

“Own It,” Says Diane von Furstenberg, Host of Spotify’s New ‘InCharge with DVF’ Podcast

March 12, 2020

Diane von Furstenberg’s life is well-documented. Her work in both the fashion and philanthropic worlds has made her a symbol of female empowerment. And it all started back in 1974 with her revolutionary wrap dress. But there’s one thing that most folks don’t know: since she was a young girl, she wanted to host a radio show.

Now, with her new Spotify podcast InCharge with DVF, von Furstenberg is seizing the opportunity to highlight the journeys of other hardworking women. In each episode, she’ll interview successful forces—from Kris Jenner to Elaine Welteroth to Priyanka Chopra—about overcoming adversity and accomplishing their goals.

We caught up with von Furstenberg in her Connecticut home ahead of today’s podcast release.

Your debut podcast, InCharge with DVF, features intimate conversations that dive into the lives and careers of iconic female figures. What drew you to the podcast medium?

Well first of all, I love intimacy, and I love words. Therefore, I love podcasts. You can talk to people, and they don’t have to worry about how they look or what they’re wearing. Somehow it’s very intimate—both to record and for people to listen to them—whether they’re in their car or working out. I think that podcasts are extremely powerful.

I am now in the part of my life that is my third act. I have had a very, very full life full of experiences and knowledge. I have accumulated wisdom, and I think that it is important to share in an intimate way.

What are some of the universal takeaways of the podcast for people of all genders, ages, and goals?

This summer I thought, “What does ‘in charge’ really mean?” I don’t want people, especially men, to feel like to be “in charge” is to be aggressive. What it is, first and foremost, is a commitment to yourself to be true to yourself, to own it. Because as the woman I know I am now, I can tell you the secret of life is owning it.

Own your imperfections; they become your assets. You own your vulnerability; it becomes your strength. Owning it is very much about that—InCharge is very much about that. It’s about the relationship you have with yourself, which is where you find your own strength, where you find your core.

Own your imperfections; they become your assets. You own your vulnerability; it becomes your strength. Owning it is very much about that—InCharge is very much about that. It’s about the relationship you have with yourself, which is where you find your own strength, where you find your core.

The podcast will be released March 12, in celebration of Women’s History Month. In your career, how have you empowered women to take control and be in charge of their lives, their work, and their passions? 

I always mentioned the words “in charge” when I was growing up. I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but I knew the kind of woman that I wanted to be, and what I wanted to be was a woman in charge. And now, the reason I give for being in fashion is basically to dress the woman in charge or to help her to feel in charge, to give her confidence.

I think it’s important that when you have a voice, you use that voice, plus your knowledge, experience, and connections, in order to help others to have a voice and to be in charge.

What specific topics are you most excited to discuss on the podcast? Are you expecting to find similarities across your conversations? Differences?

The similarity is that all of those women, whenever they were faced with challenges, they owned it. That’s why I said the secret of life is owning it. Most of them had very different lives and everything, but how they dealt with the challenges and the strength and the courage is very similar, and that’s what InCharge is about.

If we were to look at the music that you’ve been listening to, are there any particular genres or artists that you’re a big fan of these days?

I can’t sing at all, I’m the worst, but to be a rock star would certainly have been my fantasy. I love all these young women, like Billie Eilish and Ariana Grande. I just watched the documentary about Taylor Swift—it’s really hard for these young women. You have these crowds that love you and worship you and then two minutes later they criticize you. But they’re great and push through. 

Finally, you’re known for the iconic wrap dress. If you were to associate a particular band, musician, or musical genre with your creation, what comes to mind?

Billy Joel. There’s a certain song that Billy Joel wrote called “You’re Always a Woman to Me.” I remember many people gave me that record (at the time we still had records). I would say that that’s the song that spoke to me when the dress was created.

 

Stream the first episode of Diane von Furstenberg’s new podcast, InCharge with DVF.