Not two weeks ago, Jonathan Saunders debuted his first full collection as Diane von Furstenberg's newly minted chief creative officer. The range received a slew of critical acclaim, rightfully earning a place in Fashionista's roundup of the season's top lines. It was official, then: Saunders had maintained the DNA of von Furstenberg's eponymous brand, yet gave the clothing a bright, nuanced kick.
But since the Scottish designer was appointed by von Furstenberg herself in May, details remained unclear as to how the selection came about, or why von Furstenberg had sought a successor in the first place. In a new interview with Andrew Ross Sorkin on "Charlie Rose," von Furstenberg shed some light on her decision and how the partnership has played out thus far. (Spoiler: pretty great.)
"I always remembered Jonathan," von Furstenberg told Sorkin. "When he appeared on the scene about 10 years ago and he stated his own business, the way he uses prints and colors — it immediately struck me." Though von Furstenberg wasn't chiefly inspired to step down because of Saunders, knowing that his design technique matched her own helped matters. "I was definitely looking for someone," she said. "Was I looking for someone I would give that much power [to]? I'm not sure, but I was definitely looking for someone — and then I found him." In fact, she describes the pair as working in seamless synchronicity. "We empower women and we inspire confidence," she said. "We have that in common, him as Jonathan Saunders and me, and that's why a lot of people, even before they saw anything, thought we'd be a perfect match."
When asked if it's been difficult to hand over the creative control of her label, von Furstenberg noted that it's only been hard because she wants him to succeed, saying:
"When people ask me how [do I] want to be remembered, I say, 'Okay, I would be like to be remembered as somebody who told women they can be the women they want to be.'
Jonathan is in charge of helping women be the women they want to be by giving them the right product — a beautiful handbag, the right dress, anything you can buy. I, on the other side, will help women be the women they want to be by finding their own strength and their own confidence, and they don't have to spend any money on that."
Watch von Furstenberg's full "Charlie Rose" interview above.
Homepage photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images