Fashion icon DVF on success, family and new memoir

Diane von Furstenberg talks love, career and ... 06:24

By all accounts, Diane von Furstenberg's life is the stuff of fairy tales. She married a prince and became a fashion icon. Von Furstenberg chronicles it all in her new memoir, "The Woman I Wanted to Be," published by Simon and Schuster, a division of CBS.

Even now, however, von Furstenberg told "CBS This Morning" co-host Gayle King that said she never feels completely successful.

"I mean, oh, my God, the amount of days that I wake up and I feel like a total loser," she said.

Loser? Hardly. Belgian-born, Diane von Furstenberg changed fashion 40 years ago by introducing the wrap dress -- a winning design seemingly perfect for every body type and virtually any occasion.

It's a style that has endured and made her a household name before the age of 30, and in 1976 she found herself on the cover of Newsweek magazine.

In the article, she said, "It's very exciting, and I'm in control of my life. I envy no one."

"I said that?" von Furstenberg asked. "How arrogant."

She said people are never as confident as they think they are.

"I always say that, you know, you look at the woman across the room and you say, 'Oh, she's so together.' But what you don't know is that she is looking at you and she thinks you are so together," von Furstenberg said.

While women do so much for their beauty, von Furstenberg stressed inner beauty.

"We do facials, we do that, and I think that we should," von Furstenberg said. "But I think at some point it's about who you are inside. And they say when you age, the person that you are inside starts to show."

At 67, she's still vibrant and sexy. Yet she starts her memoir not with glitz and glamour, but with her mother, an incredible story of survival.

"At 22 she was a prisoner of war. She was in Auschwitz. She stayed for 13 months. She came back. She weighed 49 pounds. She wasn't supposed to survive. She did," von Furstenberg said. "She got married after she came back, and the doctor said no children, and then I was born. And so her survival was a miracle. My birth was a miracle. And she said, 'By giving you life, you gave me life back. And you are my torch.'"

Her mother taught her to never be a victim, she said, and taught her to always be independent. She owes her independence to that wrap dress.

"For me, that dress, it paid all my bills. It paid for my houses. It pays for my children's education," von Furstenberg said. "And then 40 years later, it's still kicking and still around."

In describing a DVF girl, von Furstenberg used the words "effortless, sexy and on-the-go."

"Effortless means that it is easy but doesn't cost too much," she said. "Sexy because you feel good and confident about it, and on the go because you're ready to go."

She is married to media mogul Barry Diller. It's her second marriage. The first was to Prince Egon von Furstenberg. Though she insists that those were not the defining relationships of her life.

"The most important relationship in life is the one you have with yourself, and if you have that, any other relationship is a plus and not a must," von Furstenberg said.

She is also the mother of two. Yet she said she would "never dare say" that she is a good mother.

"You know, lately my son who's now 44 told me that I was never the soccer mom he wanted me to be," von Furstenberg said.

She couldn't imagine herself as a soccer mom.

"I don't know if I was a great mother, but the result is my children are great people," she said.

Von Furstenberg continues to innovate and to embrace change. She's used flash mobs in her advertising. Last year she became the first major designer to feature Google Glass on the runway.

She's also using her new reality show, "House of DVF," to help identify the future leaders of her brand.

As she moves forward she said she wrote her book to honor her past, and the lessons her mother taught her about strength.

"I was extremely honest in this book, and I don't sugarcoat anything," von Furstenberg said. "I mean, I really opened my heart. And then sometimes I say, 'Why am I doing this? Why-- I just feel like I'm at the gynecologist here. Why am I doing this?'" she said.

"Why I'm doing this is because I know that every girl, every woman will find a little thing that will inspire her and will make her stronger," von Furstenberg concluded.