Yvan Mispelaere, the creative director of Diane von Furstenberg, opens up about his favorite New York hangouts, his vision for the new Soho boutique and working with DVF herself:
How did you meet Diane von Furstenberg?
Diane simply called me one day, as I was flying back from Rome (where I was working for Gucci) to my Paris home. She got my number through a friend that we have in common; Peter Dundas, Creative Director at Pucci. She just wanted to meet me and as I was supposed to do a trip in New York some days after, we improvised an appointment in her Meatpacking headquarters. Then it was "Love at first sight..."
What has been the biggest surprise about working with her?
What is amazing with Diane is her high energy! She's moving so fast!! She's curious and generous; she's aware and well informed about everything, traveling, meeting people, visiting, tweeting, creating connections and embracing new projects all the time! She's restless, greedy for life, adventurous, free minded...and she does it all with ease, self- confidence and great simplicity. That is so inspiring! "Authenticity" is a word that suits her so perfectly too and Love for Life...
You recently moved to New York, how do you like it so far?
I moved to NYC 14 months ago and I settled in the village, which is so convenient for me as it is in walking distance from the DVF Studio in Meatpacking! This way is perfect for me so I can discover and enjoy this part of the city that I love. I was living in the "Trastevere" in Rome, and I still have my home in the "Canal St. Martin" in Paris. So, when I found my townhouse in the village, I knew I would feel at home and so cozy in NYC too!! I walk around from Soho to Chelsea art galleries and I enjoy it truly! Of course, I do spend some time in Brooklyn too; I like the lifestyle there, as I do for East Village and Lower East Side. Regularly, I need to go uptown to feel the "grandeur" of the city or too enjoy a walk in Central Park. I love living in NYC and feel so lucky about it!
What was your vision for the new Soho store?
Opening our new store in Soho was meaningful for me as a way to reach new customers from the many tourists and the cosmopolitan crowd walking around there, to the cool downtown girl that spend a lot of time shopping in this area. For that reason it was a great opportunity to give a new perception of the brand through this store. There was a will of being more playful in the layout in the choice of the materials in that the eclectism and the fantasy of DVF. A variety of materials playing and contrasting as modern marquetry (masts, boxes), associating roughness and glamour, the rich and the poor, the industrial and the crafted luxury (various woods, clear plexy, brass) Diane's favorite pink color comes as touches in upholstery and carpet, her famous mantras come in "3D" words here and there to inspire the customer, some iconic prints such as the "Twiggs" or the "wood grain" is treated as rich textures for a brass laser cut wall or a delicately woven central carpet... The whole set expresses a poetic lively and very personal surrounding to present the clothes at their best. The meatpacking store is a bit more neutral this new store proposes the sensation of a new experience..warm and surprising, precious and free minded at the same time.
What are your favorite stores?
In NY: Seven, L' Atelier, Bergdorf Goodman, Jeffrey and Opening Ceremony
Around the world: Walter in Antwerp, L'Eclaireur in Paris, Dover Street Market in London, Corso Como in Milan
What is your design aesthetic in 5 words?
Fun, Chic, Sensual, Relax, Free
Check out images of the new Diane von Furstenberg store in Soho below: