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Diane von Furstenberg

 (née Halfin)

She was born into a Greek-Russian Jewish family in Brussels in 1945, and studied Economics at the University of Geneva, where she met and married Prince Egon von Fürstenberg, and moved with him to New York.

The couple divorced shortly after the birth of their second child, and Diane started a business designing and selling her signature knitted "wrap" dresses in 1973. They were very popular and quickly became fashion classics: one is now displayed in the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The business became the DVF group, which sells women's clothes, cosmetics, fragrances, French-language books and jewellery in over 50 countries worldwide. Having stepped down from designing clothes in the 1980s, she made a triumphant return to the New York haute couture scene with her acclaimed 1997 collection.

She remarried in 2001, and was awarded a lifetime achievement award by the Council of Fashion designers of America in 2005. Most recently she was a judge on the US reality television programme Project Runway and designed a mobile phone for T-mobile.

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