Diane von Furstenberg’s All-out Excellent Adventure in St. Louis

MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS: Diane von Furstenberg took St. Louis by storm, meeting hundreds, hosting a trunk show, advising local fashion designers, dishing in a question-and-answer session and mingling with St. Louis Fashion Fund patrons at a Caleres-sponsored cocktail party. That was all in a day’s work Wednesday for the designer.

Upon touching down Wednesday morning at St. Louis Lambert International Airport, she beelined it to the trunk show, which was being held at the Contemporary Art Museum. Hundreds were on hand, with many seeking styling advice and selfies with the designer. Von Furstenberg helped to ring up $86,000 in trunk show sales there for her collection and $50,000 more had been generated the day before, according to Joan Berkman, who was part of the advance team for von Furstenberg’s visit. Online orders are still being taken.

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The designer then met with some local designers and a handful of Washington University fashion students. Afterward, it was off to the university’s Graham Chapel for the aforementioned chat for 800 fans. An additional 1,000 were on the waiting list for the free trunk show. The “Conversation With Diane von Furstenberg” was presented by the Saint Louis Fashion Fund in partnership with the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts.

St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones presented the designer with a proclamation declaring Oct. 12 “Diane von Furstenberg Day” in St. Louis.

Susan Sherman, the St. Louis Fashion Fund’s board chair, surprised von Furstenberg with the Saint Louis Fashion Fund Award. The honor had previously been bestowed on Iris Apfel, the late André Leon Talley, Dapper Dan and two Saint Louis natives — Karlie Kloss and Derek Blasberg. Before winging it back to New York, von Furstenberg took in the sights, visiting The Gateway Arch, the St. Louis Art Museum and the Pulitzer Arts Foundation.

Upfront as she was about her personal life and career, the designer’s parting words during the Q&A were ones that others can emulate. Berkman, the STLFF’s director of public relations, recalled, “Diane said, ‘Every day I try to get in touch with somebody, who I haven’t been in touch with, to do something nice for them. It would be nice if everybody thought about doing that, because it will make you happier if you do something for someone else.’” Those who missed out on the talk or were waitlisted can catch it on the STLFF’s site.

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