They couldn’t be more different, right? Not so fast.
So, while you’d still likely be able to distinguish whose excerpt can be attributed to who even if their names weren't there, we couldn’t help but bring the two together, for double the advice and inspiration. Not that you shouldn’t still read both full books, 'cause you know there’s a lot more where this came from.
On growing up...
“When I was a girl, I always wanted to be older than I was. Instead of sitting, I knelt next to my father in the car so that people would think I was grown-up. I pretended I had wrinkles and scratched my face with my nails because I wanted to have a lived-in face like the French movie star Jeanne Moreau. When I turned twenty and my mother asked me, ‘How does it feel being twenty?’ I said, ‘Well, I’ve been telling people I’ve been twenty for so long that it doesn’t make a difference.’” –Diane von Furstenberg
On not letting your past define you...
“Reading the [New York magazine article about von Furstenberg and her first husband, Prince Egon von Furstenberg] and seeing our lives exposed under a magnifying glass, I realized that that couple was not who I was. I didn’t want to be a European Park Avenue princess with a pretend decadent life. That woman was definitely not the woman I wanted to be. I had to leave the couple in order to be me. Egon moved out soon after that piece in New York Magazine, but our friendship and shared family lasted forever.” –Diane von Furstenberg
On beauty and accepting yourself...
“In my older face, I see my life. Every wrinkle, every smile line, every age spot. My life is written on my face. There is a saying that with age, you look outside what you are inside. If you are someone who never smiles your face gets saggy. If you’re a person who smiles a lot, you will have more smile lines. Your wrinkles reflect the roads you have taken; they form the map of your life. My face reflects the wind and sun and rain and dust from the trips I’ve taken. My curiosity and love of life have filled me with colors and experiences and I wear them all with gratitude and pride. My face carries all my memories. Why would I erase them?” –Diane von Furstenberg
On plastic surgery...
We know it's Botox
And not your vegan diet
Nice try, Margaret
A face-lift does not
Make daughters comfortable
When you chaperone
Hey, shooting poison
In your face does not keep you
From turning fifty” –Amy Poehler
“I know that people look at me and wonder why I have not succumbed to the progress of technology. Why have I not frozen or filled in the lines of my forehead. Why have I not clipped the bits of surplus skin on my eyelids. I am not sure, but probably because I am afraid of freezing time, of not recognizing myself in the mirror, the images I have been so friendly with. Losing the complicity with myself is something I would not like to happen, the wink in the bathroom mirror as I pass it in the middle of the night, the straight-on look that I recognize.” –Diane von Furstenberg
“A few weekends later I went to Monaco with friends to watch the Grand Prix again. Ferretti was in Monaco, too, and offered me a ride back to Milan at the end of the weekend. He drove his Maserati very fast and I thought it was all the high-speed twists and turns in the road that were making me nauseated. I felt even more sick the next day and thought a sauna might make me feel better. It didn’t. Instead I fainted in the middle of Piazza San Babila and remember hearing people saying ‘She’s dead, she’s dead’ and all I could do was move a finger to show them ‘No, I’m not dead.’ What I was, of course, was pregnant. I couldn’t believe my ears when the doctor told me the news.” –Diane von Furstenberg
On dealing with sexism...
All of my lower-middle-class Boston issues rose to the surface. I don't like it when bratty, privileged old white guys speak to me like I am their mouthy niece. I got that amazing feeling you get when you know you are going to lose it in the best, most self-righteous way. I just leaned back and yelled 'FUUUUUUUUUUUUCK YOU." Then I chased him as he tried to get away from me. 'You rich motherfucker! Who do you think you are? You're not better than me. Fuck you and your fucking opinions, you piece of shit.'" –Amy Poehler
“Even the staid Wall Street Journal took notice and on January 28, 1976, ran a feature about my ‘fashion empire’ on the front page. I was beyond proud of myself that morning as I took a very early flight to Cleveland for a personal appearance. There were almost no women on that flight. I sat next to a businessman with a pile of magazines and newspapers on my lap. The Wall Street Journal was on top. After a few minutes of staring at me and my legs, huffing and puffing, trying to figure out how to have a conversation, the man asked, ‘What’s a pretty girl like you doing reading the Wall Street Journal?’
I looked at him, but said nothing. I could have shown him my front-page story, but it seemed too easy, and to this day, the fact that I did not remains one of the best personal satisfactions I’ve ever had. I kept my triumph to myself. Though of course I have told that story so many times since that I have more than exploited this poor guy’s chauvinist attitude, which was so common at the time.” –Diane von Furstenberg
On their big New York breaks...
“Greatly pregnant and with my dream in place, I’d struggle out of the apartment with my suitcase full of clothes to make the rounds of department stores and centralized buying offices. The people I met were amused and intrigues by the unorthodox presentation of little jersey dresses pulled out of a Vuitton suitcase by a young, pregnant European princess, but it did not materialize into anything. I persevered, though, especially after the birth of Alexandre.
The door that opened two months later, in March 1970, was the most critical one in New York: that of Diana Vreelance, the intimidating, all-powerful dragon lady editor in chief of Vogue. It seems amazing to me now that I had the audacity to enter her fashion shrine and show her such simple little dresses. I had the advantage, of course, of having my social status, but my youthful confidence is what made me push open that door. Diana Vreeland? Why not? And that was the beginning.” –Diane von Furstenberg
On work/life balance...
“With the first money I earned, I bought Cloudwalk, an astonishingly beautiful property in Connecticut for my twenty-seventh birthday so we could spend relaxed time together in a setting where wee could also feel free. And we did. I spent much time there with the children and their school friends, cooking for them and often transporting one of them to the emergency room to see if a cut need stitches or an arm was more than just bruised. During the week I’d be a tycooness in New York again, striding out the door in my high heels and fishnet stockings. I winking in the mirror, smiled at my shadow, and off I went, to make a living and become the woman I wanted to be.” –Diane von Furstenberg
On staying humble...
“The many women I’ve met through Vital Voices [a global nonprofit founded by Hilary Clinton that identifies female leaders and helps them to increase their leadership potential] have left me almost breathless with their courage and determination. ‘My God,’ I think to myself. ‘I’ve done nothing.’ Though I’ve dedicated myself to empowering women through my work in fashion, mentoring, and philanthropy, I am empowered, mentored, and filled with riches from these women. It is they, and many others like them, who inspire me with their strength and beauty.” –Diane von Furstenberg
On ambition, motivation and hustle...
“I was totally on my own, with no experience, and the challenges were enormous. I remember Air India’s freezing warehouse at Kennedy Airport, where, sitting on the floor sorting out a new shipment from Italy, I had to cross out all the labels written in Italian and rewrite them in English. I can see myself crying from the cold and exhaustion, but now, of course, that experience has become a fond memory. So has the way I stored the folded dress in our dining room and shipped all the orders myself, while also handling the invoices.” –Diane von Furstenberg
On the most important aspects of their careers...
“My goals had shifted. No longer was I striving to be financially independent. I was. I didn’t need to prove that the first time around wasn’t an accident. I had. What I wanted now was to turn a good company into a great company, to leave a legacy, something that would live beyond me. I had reached the age where you begin to think about what you leave your grandchildren and their children.” –Diane von Furstenberg