Diane Von Furstenberg Insists on Casting Diverse Runways

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Photo: Patrick McMullan

Diane Von Furstenberg’s runways are among the most diverse at Fashion Week; 16 of her newest collection's 43 looks were modeled by women of color (that's 37 percent, compared to this season's dismal average of 16 percent, as calculated by Jezebel). Last night, celebrating International Women's Day with the launch party of her new CD Proud to Be Woman, proceeds from which benefit Vital Voices, Von Furstenberg said she thinks diversity will catch on eventually. “It’s a habit. If you tell people it’s cool, they’ll do it. Changing human behavior takes a little while,” she said. She’s also adamant about diversity in her own shows. “I insist. It’s my rule, and I always tell my casting agents. That’s it! Otherwise, I don’t hire them. I send everybody an e-mail right before Fashion Week to remind them to do it.”

Von Furstenberg had just returned from L.A., where she attended the Vanity Fair Oscar party (we hear she's also working on beefing up her gown business). "I thought it was okay," she said of the red-carpet fashion at the award show. "I’m glad a woman won [for Best Director]. It wasn’t my favorite Oscars." Where did they go wrong? "I think they overdo it. All these gorgeous women who are so talented, they should come in much lighter. Much, much lighter. But it’s not their fault, it’s the designers. The actresses should just go and be more who they are," she said, but she declined to provide pointed advice. "I don’t say. I just tell people, ‘Be yourself.’"