Diane Firsten was born in Cleveland, Ohio into a family of extremely stylish, chic and elegant women. Her mother Ina, was very creative and had an extremely sophisticated eye for color and design. She dressed impeccably and taught Diane about everything related to the way things ought to be in fashion, from the way you pull things together, shoes, bags, jewelry etc., to the proper way to sit and cross your ankles in a very ladylike way. She taught Diane about buying beautifully made shoes, “shoes must always be lined in kid leather so you never get marks on your feet!! Beautiful feet are so important!” One of Diane’s earliest memories is having her mother tell the carpool driver that had stopped to pick up Diane for nursery school, “Mrs. Taylor, Diane won’t be attending school today as she is not happy with her shoe selection.” Diane spent many hours in her youth dressing up and modeling her grandmothers’ furs, hats and jewelry.
When Diane was in her mid 20’s she requested a job from the head of the prestigious Fifth Avenue Club at Saks Fifth Avenue in Cincinnati, Joyce Elkus. She got the job and was given a phone and a tiny little office / dressing room, where she immediately made an impression on management by developing a strong and impressive business, in the personal shopping area throughout the store. It wasn’t long before Diane was number one in the menswear department and had several top CEO’s calling her and setting appointments with her to wardrobe them. This was an unheard accomplishment for one so young. This was the beginning of her successful career in the years to come.
Always aggressive in her thinking and her outlook, Diane realized Saks Fifth Avenue did not have the high end assortment needed to style her customers in the way she thought they should be styled. At this time she decided to go out on her own and using her hard work, passion, and the good taste she inherited, she started hosting trunk shows in her small apartment featuring New York’s up and coming young designers. Diane was the first wholesale account to the famed “Wathne” and also the first wholesale account to “Luca Luca”. She also featured “Elizabeth Locke” at her apartment for a fabulous trunk show. In addition to hosting trunk shows she had an elite group of women and men that she styled. Her trips to NYC and to MIAMI proved to be a successful stepping stone, as these women are still her top clients today.
As she had experienced before, fate stepped in and a tiny studio became available on Madison Road in Cincinnati. Diane jumped at the chance to have a store front and while still in her 20’s she immediately established a formula that continues in the stores today, in which fit, fabric, quality tailoring and classic modern styling were the hallmark of the original store, as well as the ones to follow.
As Diane Firsten, the business, expanded within their original location, eventually becoming a 3500 square foot store, including a shoe salon, the demand for her “classic with a twist” became stronger. Many of the DF customers wintered in Palm Beach, Florida. In 2001 Diane made the move to Worth Avenue to open her second boutique. The glamorous and chic island immediately took to Diane’s luxury boutique. The success was so strong a third store was put in the works.
Diane Firsten Nantucket was born in the summer of 2010, housed in a historical part of Main Street. The DF brand continues with her gorgeous take on lifestyle classics.
The Diane Firsten brand is a true English “town & country” meets “St. Tropez” look, with clothes that are luxurious, modern, sexy and classic. In addition to her own label of bespoke Italian Jackets, cashmere and shirting, Diane Firsten also carries major designers from New York and Europe. These include Brunello Cucinelli, Nancy Gonzalez, Leonard Paris, Aquazzura, and many small hand picked items that Diane finds from around the world on her travels
Diane’s inspiration of “beauty and elegance” is what she remembers of her mother, always a lady, beautiful and elegant!