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A true legend: Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy to direct documentary on Diane von Fürstenberg

  • April 23, 2023

Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, the two-time Academy-winning documentary filmmaker, is set to direct a new documentary on the life of Diane von Fürstenberg, the influential fashion designer who popularised the women’s wrap dress. The feature-length documentary will be released on Hulu, though its title and release date have yet to be announced.

Obaid-Chinoy, who previously directed documentaries such as Saving Face and A Girl in the River, will work on the film alongside Trish Dalton. According to Variety, the documentary will use archival footage and intimate interviews to explore the life and career of von Fürstenberg, who created a multi-million-dollar fashion empire in a male-dominated industry.

Earlier this week, the Ms. Marvel filmmaker took to Instagram to share what her journey with this project has been like. “I first met DVF [Diane von Fürstenberg] in 2012 and was immediately drawn to her remarkable story,” she wrote. “For the better part of the last year, Trish, my co-directing partner, and I have been embedded in her world, combing through her archives and charting her journey, and we are excited to share it with the world!” she added and tagged her “incredible all-women team.”

A post shared by Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy (@sharmeenobaidchinoy)

Obaid-Chinoy referred to the designer as a “true legend” in the official logline, adding that “through sheer determination, she overcame any challenge thrown her way, including sexism, the perils of immigrating to America, industry highs and lows, a public divorce and even a bout with cancer.”

“We feel strongly that Diane’s story of perseverance and global leadership needs to be shared now more than ever,” Obaid-Chinoy and Dalton said. “Over the last 50 years, she has fiercely triumphed, shattered glass ceilings and opened doors for women everywhere… all while living life on her own terms. We hope that this story inspires the next generation.”

Born in Belgium to Holocaust survivors, the 76-year-old von Fürstenberg began designing clothes for women around 1970, a year after she married Prince Egon von Fürstenberg. After the couple divorced in 1983, she moved to New York, where her company’s flagship store is located. Her designs have been worn by influential women such as Michelle Obama, Kate Middleton, Gwyneth Paltrow, Madonna, and Whitney Houston.

The documentary will be produced by Sutter Road Picture Company and Particle Projects, with Fabiola Beracasa Beckman, Tracy Aftergood, Obaid-Chinoy, and Sean Stuart as additional producers.

On the work front, Obaid-Chinoy also made history as the first South Asian woman to direct a new Star Wars film, which is currently in the scripting stage, as per Deadline. The film will be the first major big screen release for the entertainment company since 2019’s Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker, with the studio having shifted focus to TV projects such as The Mandalorian, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Andor in recent years. Obaid-Chinoy will be co-writing the film with Damon Lindelof.

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