Prince Egon von Fürstenberg

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Egon von Fürstenberg
Prince of Fürstenberg
Egon von Fürstenberg with Prince Alfonso 1955.jpg
Egon (left) with Alfonso zu Hohenlohe-Langenburg, in 1955
BornEduard Egon Peter Paul Giovanni Prinz zu Fürstenberg
(1946-06-29)29 June 1946
Lausanne, Switzerland
Died11 June 2004(2004-06-11) (aged 57)
Rome, Italy
Diane Simone Michelle Halfin
(m. 1969; div. 1983)

Lynn Marshall
(m. 1983)
IssuePrince Alexander
Princess Tatiana
FatherPrince Tassilo of Fürstenberg
MotherClara Agnelli
ReligionRoman Catholicism

Prince Egon von Fürstenberg (Eduard Egon Peter Paul Giovanni Prinz zu Fürstenberg, Prinz Egon zu Fürstenberg; 29 June 1946 – 11 June 2004) was a socialite, banker, fashion and interior designer, and member of the German aristocratic family Fürstenberg.

In 1969, he married fashion designer Diane von Fürstenberg, with whom he had two children Prince Alexandre Egon (b. 25 January 1970) and Princess Tatiana Desirée (b. 16 February 1971). The couple separated in 1973 and divorced in 1983[citation needed]. The same year, he married Lynn Marshall (born ca. 1950), an American and a Mississippi native who was co-owner of a flower shop; the couple remained childless.[1] Between his marriages, Egon also had a male partner: He was frank about his bisexuality and the openness of his first marriage.[2]

Fürstenberg wrote two books on fashion and interior design (The Power Look, 1978, and The Power Look at Home: Decorating for Men, 1980) as well as opened an interior design firm. He died in Rome on 11 June 2004 of liver cancer deriving from an earlier hepatitis C infection. He was survived by his children and both wives.


Eduard Egon Peter Paul Giovanni Prinz zu Fürstenberg, born 29 June 1946 in Lausanne, Switzerland, was the elder son of Prince Tassilo zu Fürstenberg (1903–1989) and his first wife Clara Agnelli (1920-2016), elder sister of Fiat's chairman Gianni Agnelli.[3] After Clara's departure, his father married Texas oil heiress Dr. Cecilie Amelia Hudson (née Blaffer).[4]

Fürstenberg's younger brother is Prince Sebastian zu Fürstenberg, and his sister is socialite and actress Princess Ira zu Fürstenberg.[5]


Egon von Fürstenberg was born at Lausanne, Switzerland,[6] was baptized by Pope John XXIII, and was thereafter brought up in great privilege in Venice, Italy.[2] He earned a degree in economics at the University of Geneva, followed by an 18-month term in the Peace Corps in Burundi working as a teacher, and then two years as an investment banker in New York.[2]

While studying at university, he met fellow student[2] Diane Simone Michelle Halfin,[6] a Belgian-born, Jewish woman of Romanian-Greek descent and daughter of a Holocaust survivor (on her mother's side). They married on 16 July 1969 at Montfort-l'Amaury, Yvelines, France.[citation needed] The new Princess Diane von Fürstenberg was pregnant, and Egon's father, who also objected to his marrying a Jew, boycotted the ceremony.[7]

His wife opened her fashion house in New York at Egon's urging, creating an eventually iconic wrap dress, a career as designer that pre-dated and arguably eclipsed Egon's.[citation needed] Fürstenberg began his career as a buyer for Macy's, taking night classes at the Fashion Institute of Technology,[8] and Parson's School of Design.[citation needed]

The von Fürstenbergs had two children: Alexandre Egon (b. 25 January 1970) and Tatiana Desirée (b. 16 February 1971).[6] They were divorced in 1983.[6][1]

Fürstenberg began independent work as a fashion designer in 1977,[citation needed] designing clothes for plus-size women, and later expanding to full fashion and product licensing, with ready-to-wear, fragrance, and made to measure lines based in Rome.[citation needed] Next von Furstenberg designed ready-made clothing for the masses, and an off-the-peg (ready-to-wear) line of fashion.[citation needed]

Fürstenberg wrote two top selling books:[citation needed] The Power Look (1978), a guide to fashion and good taste, and The Power Look at Home: Decorating for Men (1980), a book on home furnishings. He opened an interior design firm in 1981.[clarification needed][8] In 1991, he exhibited at Alta Moda days in Rome.[citation needed]

Fürstenberg collected art, and his collection included works by Zachary Selig.[9][page needed]

Egon von Fürstenberg died at Spallanzani Hospital in Rome on 11 June 2004.[6] The New York Post reported Fürstenberg's widow stating that he died of liver cancer caused by a hepatitis C infection that he acquired in the 1970s.[citation needed]

Published works[edit]

Fürstenberg's published works included:[1]

  • The Power Look, 1978, New York, NY: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston
  • The Power Look at Home: Decorating for Men, 1980, New York, NY: Morrow



  1. ^ a b c Rourke, Mary (12 June 2004). "Egon von Furstenberg, 57; Gave Up Banking Career for Fashion Design". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 27 July 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d Wohlfert-Wihlborg, Lee The Original Von Furstenberg, Egon, Wakes Up to His Own Potential, People, December 21, 1981 Vol. 16 No. 25;,,20081006,00.html
  3. ^ "Clara Agnelli". The Times. 26 July 2016. Retrieved 27 July 2016.
  4. ^ "Cecil Blaffer "Titi" von Fürstenberg, a patron of the arts and a member of a family that combined two great Texas oil fortunes". Retrieved 27 July 2016.
  5. ^ "Clara Agnelli, car magnate's daughter – obituary". The Telegraph. 4 August 2016. Retrieved 16 November 2017.
  6. ^ a b c d e "Egon von Furstenberg, 'Prince Of High Fashion,' Dies at 57", The New York Times, New York City, 12 June 2004
  7. ^ "This Day in Jewish HIstory //1946: An ex-serene highness and fashion guru is born - This Day in Jewish History". Retrieved 27 July 2016.
  8. ^ a b Wohlfert-Wihlborg, Lee (21 December 1981), "The Original Von Furstenberg, Egon, Wakes Up to His Own Potential", People, 16 (25), retrieved 17 July 2015
  9. ^ Joan A. Quinn, 1989, "Click: Zachary Selig honors Prince Egon von Furstenberg." The Herald Examiner, 26 January 1989.[page needed]

External links[edit]