She is one of fashion’s most philanthropic figures, with a foundation to her name and continuous sponsorship of the DVF Awards. And now, Diane von Furstenberg has been lauded for her humanitarian efforts, taking home this year’s Freedom Award from the International Rescue Committee. The designer was feted at a ceremony on Thursday evening, where she was bestowed with the honor, which has previously been won by figures including Kofi Annan and Madeleine Albright.
“Diane is a dedicated philanthropist and an outspoken advocate for the most vulnerable,” stated the IRC, which was founded by Albert Einstein after he migrated to the US. The organization is dedicated to supporting and aiding refugees around the world, and those displaced by war, persecution, and natural disasters. Von Furstenberg has previously worked with the non-profit, and visited Syrian refugees at the IRC’s offices in Alexandria, Greece, in June. The Belgian-American designer also visited the organization’s New York office just this week to participate in a refugee business development workshop, WWD reports.
“Thank you IRC for this amazing honor!” Von Furstenberg wrote on Instagram following the awards. The designer has most recently scored headlines as her eponymous label revealed it will stop the use or production of fur in all upcoming collections. “I am so excited that technology has provided us a way to feel as glamorous with faux fur,” von Furstenberg said earlier this month, according to WWD. The label has partnered with the Humane Society of the United States and PETA to end the exploitation of animal fur in the industry, the publication adds. DVF will also cease to use angora and exotic animal skins, PETA added in a statement, following its ban on mohair in July this year.
“It’s time for us to make this change and accept responsibility to ensure that we don’t promote killing animals for the sake of fashion,” Sandra Campos, chief executive officer of DVF, told WWD. “We are committed to supporting the shift to a more ethical and sustainable fashion industry by providing the consumer with innovative and sophisticated alternatives.”