Many younger fashionistas might not know that designer Diane Von Furstenberg has a long history as a feminist supporting women’s rights, feminist activism and women’s-focus philanthropy + small business development. In honor of women’s history month, the creator of the wrap-dress is bringing her feminist credentials to her D.V.F. flagship store in lower Manhattan, in a major art collab with Ashley Longshore.
Unveiled in time for International Women’s Day on Friday March 8th, DVF and Longshore, a 43-year-old Alabama native who is currently based in New Orleans, have created 37 large-scale portraits, intended to celebrate extraordinary women. Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Michelle Obama, and Gloria Steinem. The entire show will reside in Von Furstenberg’s Washington Street store through May.
In 2018 Longshore was the first female artist to exhibit at Bergdorf Goodman. Known for vibrant, embellished paintings that reference pop culture, writes Vanity Fair.
“To me, color is just so comforting, it makes me feel alive,” she said of her creative process in a recent interview. “I love that playfulness, I’m drawn to that like a moth to a flame.”
When Von Furstenberg explained her concept for the new installation, Longshore said, “She was talking to me about my work and telling me [her] idea about powerful women, fearless women, and I said, ‘Look Diane, I am so in on this. I’ll work myself to death for you for this.’” According to Longshore, von Furstenberg’s did request that the portraits be created without the artist’s signature bedazzle, glitter, and resin. In this situation, DVF felt that these memorable women subjects of great influence and inspiration should stand alone.