When I became pregnant with my first child at 22, I had no idea how to be a mother. I simply became one. I had just become engaged to Prince Egon von Fürstenberg, the greatest catch in Europe at the time. I put on the diamond ring and thought, “How wonderful!” without believing we were going to get married any time soon. I did, however, spend the night with him. I remember telling him I would give him a son. I meant it to be seductive; instead, it turned out to be prophetic.
A few weeks later, I fainted in the Piazza San Babila in Milan. I was pregnant. I ran home to my mother in a panic and said, “Everybody will say I did it on purpose.” She told me to relax and tell Egon. So, I sent him a telegram. He replied, “Organise marriage in Paris July 15.” It was May. I was furious. How dare he tell me what to do?
In the next few months, I organized a wedding and made plans to move to New York with my future husband. I worried that motherhood would keep me from starting the business I had dreamt of, but in fact being pregnant forced me to concentrate on my goals. By the time Alexander was born, I had effectively launched my brand. Along the way, I spoke constantly to the little person in my belly about what was going on, and when I gave birth, he felt like an old confidant.
My daughter, Tatiana, followed a year later. There’s a photograph of me, Egon and the children back then and our combined ages were less than 50. But these little people had come out of me so we became friends, and we’ve been friends ever since. Your children are an extension of yourself. All you can do is love them no matter what.
DIANE VON FURSTENBERG
Support Design & Fashion Magazine