Diane von Furstenberg is a fairy godmother of sorts in fashion, championing new and established designers alike as the beloved president of the CFDA. She, along with husband Barry Diller, is also working some fairy magic in New York City.
The High Line park, which opened in 2009, has been a magnet for tourists and city dwellers alike. It runs along the city’s west side through the Meatpacking District and Chelsea, and has been credited with rejuvenating restaurants and retail in the area. Plus, it’s just a really cool park. But the last half mile has remained unfinished, until now, thanks to the Diller-von Furstenberg Family Foundation.
According to the New York Times, the Foundation just made a $20 million donation to the park, which is the largest donation ever made to a NYC park (the previous record being $17 million to Central Park). And that $20 mil is on top of two previous donations from the Foundation totaling $15 million.
Fashion has embraced the High Line for good reason: It’s a very urban, highly stylized environment, with amazing views and just the right amount of grit. Uniqlo opened a roller skating rink under the High Line last summer, and Calvin Klein has hosted some fancy parties there. Tommy Hilfiger was the first designer to officially hold a runway show on the High Line; he presented his spring 2012 menswear show there last month. We wouldn’t be surprised if other designers followed suit.
The generous gift from the Diller/von Furstenberg clan means that the last half mile of the park can be developed, and there’s a bit of a cushion to absorb future operating costs. We’re looking forward to seeing the completed urban runway.