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The History of The Wrap

Easy, effortless, and on the go. This one little dress transformed how thousands of women all over the world get dressed.

Born of an idea that was revolutionary in its utter simplicity, the wrap dress was thought up by Diane von Furstenberg in 1974 as a reinterpretation of the classic kimono design, and happening upon an Italian manufacturer who specialized in printed jersey fabric.

First introduced in a cotton-rayon jersey fabric—chosen for its particularly flattering effect on the female figure that moves with the body—Diane’s dresses were “smashing,” according to Diana Vreeland, then the Editor-in-Chief of Vogue, and her wrap dresses became an instant hit.

Sexy, practical, washable, and wrinkle-proof, the wrap dress was designed to ensure unparalleled ease of wear, and to allow women to go to work and still feel sexy. By 1976, Diane had sold over a million wrap dresses.

After taking a hiatus from fashion in the late 80s, Diane re-launched her brand in 1997—and with that, the classic wrap dress styles that first launched her career.

Over four decades later, and the leopard print wrap dress (one of the first Diane designed in 1974)—after being featured in the exhibit “Items: Is Fashion Modern?” among 110 other fashion items that have strongly impacted the world in the 20th and 21st centuries—is now part of MoMA’s permanent collection.

The timeless appeal of the wrap dress lies in its minimal construction; devoid of fussy details such as button or zip closures, this is a dress that any woman can easily throw on and go. Designed specifically for the woman in charge, the woman who knows what she wants, and is constantly on-the-go, the wrap dress is as versatile and relevant today as it was back in 1974—only now, it’s available in countless more fabrics, styles, and iterations.

Print Spotlight

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Chain Link Print

Perhaps the most celebrated and recognized of all the DVF prints, the Chain Link print speaks to Diane’s penchant for graphic art and was among the first of the DVF prints.

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The Palm Vine Print

Another famous vintage print, the Palm Vine print is a nod to Diane’s love of nature, and was recently introduced in new and compelling colorways.

On The Runway

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From a 1980s-era Iman, to Karlie Kloss sporting a patchwork stunner for Spring 16, and Talita von Furstenberg resplendent in an embroidered update to the classic style for our Fall 18 collection, the wrap dress has been a prominent and beloved fixture in every Diane von Furstenberg collection since the brand was founded in the early 1970s.

Vintage Ads

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The effortless wrap design is front and center in these compelling ‘70s- and ‘80s-era vintage DVF ads.

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