Egon von Fürstenberg

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Prince Egon
Prince of Fürstenberg
Spouse Diane Simone Michelle Halfin
Lynn Marshall
Issue Alexander von Furstenberg
Tatiana von Fürstenberg
Father Prince Tassilo of Fürstenberg
Mother Clara Agnelli
Born (1946-06-29)29 June 1946
Died June 11, 2004(2004-06-11) (aged 57)

Egon von Fürstenberg or Prince Egon of Fürstenberg (29 June 1946 – 11 June 2004) was a fashion designer.

Family[edit]

Eduard Egon Peter Paul Giovanni Prinz zu Fürstenberg was the elder son of Prince Tassilo zu Fürstenberg (1903–1989) and his first wife, Clara Agnelli (born 1920), elder sister of Fiat's chairman, Gianni Agnelli. His stepmother was the Texas oil heiress Dr. Cecilie Amelia Hudson, née Blaffer.

The House of Fürstenberg is an ancient German family which reigned over a small principality within the Holy Roman Empire until mediatized in 1806, henceforth retaining their official princely status until the fall of the German Empire, in 1918 and thereafter maintaining aristocratic eminence through continued ownership of vast estates. Although zu rather than von is the predicate attached to the family's princely title (denoting that the family retained possession of, not merely past or nominal association with—the Fürstenberg family seat), Egon and his sister chose to use the more familiar von for career purposes.

His sister is the actress and socialite Princess Ira von Fürstenberg, whose first husband, Prince Alfonso of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, was founder of the Marbella Club Hotel. His former wife is the fashion designer Diane von Fürstenberg. He also has a younger brother, Prince Sebastian. He was first cousin of Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic Karel Schwarzenberg.

Egon's branch of the family descends from both Stéphanie de Beauharnais and the 18th-century English eccentric William Thomas Beckford.

Life[edit]

Egon von Fürstenberg was born at Lausanne in Switzerland. Brought up in great privilege in Venice, Italy, he was baptized by the future Pope John XXIII.

Fürstenberg began his career as a buyer for Macy's, and took night classes at the Fashion Institute of Technology.[1] He began designing clothes for plus-size women, and later expanded to full fashion and ready-to-wear lines, including fragrances, product licensing and an haute couture line based in Rome.

On 16 July 1969 at Montfort-l'Amaury, Yvelines, France, he married the Belgium-born Diane Simone Michelle Halfin, daughter of a Holocaust survivor. She was Jewish and pregnant, and the senior Fürstenbergs objected to the couple's union for those reasons. They had two children, Prince Alexander von Furstenberg (b. 25 January 1970) and Princess Tatiana Desirée (b. 16 February 1971), and were divorced in 1972. His wife opened her own fashion house at Egon's urging, where she created the iconic "wrap dress", launching a career as designer that pre-dated and arguably eclipsed Egon's.

Diane later married media mogul Barry Diller (2001). In the later 1970s, he dated Halston and Warhol hanger-on Richard Lasko, half of the ephemerally famous Dupont Twins.[2] In 1983, Egon married a Mississippi native, Lynn Marshall (born ca. 1950). They had no children.

Fürstenberg wrote two top selling books: The Power Look,[3] a guide to fashion and good taste, and The Power Look at Home: Decorating for Men,[4] a book on home furnishings. He created an interior design firm in 1981.[1] His collection of art included works by artist Zachary Selig.[5]

Egon von Fürstenberg died at Spallanzani Hospital in Rome. According to the New York Post, Fürstenberg's widow stated that he died of liver cancer caused by a hepatitis C infection picked up in the 1970s.

Fürstenberg had earlier intimated in a New York Magazine article that he was bisexual.[6] In June 2000 he then made his 'coming out' as a bisexual in an interview published by the Italian daily newspaper La Repubblica [7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b The Original Von Furstenberg, Egon, Wakes Up to His Own Potential, People, 21 December 1981
  2. ^ http://nymag.com/arts/art/season2007/38966/index2.html
  3. ^ Von Fürstenberg, Egon. (1978) The Power Look, New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, ISBN 0-03-020456-9 (ISBN 9780030204562)
  4. ^ Von Fürstenberg, Egon. (1980) The Power Look at Home: Decorating for Men, New York: Morrow, ISBN 0-688-03599-X (ISBN 9780688035990)
  5. ^ Quinn, Joan A. "Click: Zachary Selig honors Prince Egon von Furstenberg." The Herald Examiner, January 26, 1989.
  6. ^ New York Social Diary, 4/21/04
  7. ^ Interview with Italian gay magazine, Pride (June 2002)

External links[edit]