I'm not the only one; most people's mothers are the most influential person in their life. But my mother survived the camps, and she was very strong. She made me strong, but she wanted me to be strong. That's more important.
I was terrified the first time that I had a big problem in my business. I was obviously terrified when they diagnosed me with cancer in 1994. I was terrified when my son used to drive too fast. But I do believe in the fact that fear is not an option, so I always try to face it and not be afraid.
What I think I sell with my clothes is confidence, so hopefully all my dresses, my accessories, are friends to the women. When you open the closet, and your eyes are swollen, and you don't like the way you look, you go to your friends.
I am not allowed to be afraid. My mother made me like that. As a child, if I was afraid of the dark, she would lock me in the closet. Things like this. And she would talk about the time she spent in the concentration camp, but not about being afraid, only about the good side of it.
I always was fascinated with China, because I was born in Europe, and for us, China had this fascination and mystery. The first time I came here was in 1989. They were on bicycles, and the speed of the growth has been incredible.
Animals come from nature. They were not designed. All my inspiration comes from nature, whether it's an animal or the layout of bark or of a leaf. Sometimes my patterns are very bold, and you can barely see where they come from, but all the textures and all the prints come out of nature.
I wanted to be an empowered woman, and I became an empowered woman. And now I want to empower every woman. And I do it through my clothes, I do it through my words, I do it through my money, I do it through everything.
There are emerging countries. I mean, there are countries, you know, China, India, and Brazil, and all of these countries that are emerging. They are building homes. They are building - so there is a new lifestyle.
I'm very good at breaking up with people. Very good. It requires a lot of skill, but what you do is you tell them the truth of why you are breaking up with them, and after that, you somehow compensate with other things. If you have loved someone, I think that somehow they should always be a part of your life. I really do.
I think all races are represented in America much more than in many other places, but it's also nice to remind people about that ethnic mix. I would like to see more black models and women from different ethnic backgrounds, but I also think that when you are casting, you just choose the most beautiful girl you can find.
I was lucky enough to have it all. To be successful in business, to have children, to raise them on my own, and to travel and live my life. It was a lot of work, but it's a privilege to have been able to do it.
The wrap dress is the most traditional form of dressing: It's like a robe, it's like a kimono, it's like a toga. It doesn't have buttons or zippers. What made it different was that it was jersey; therefore, it was close to the body and it was a print.
When I was a little girl, if I didn't eat my soup, my mother would say, 'You have to think of all the Chinese children who have nothing to eat.' But now, for my children, Chinese people make everything, and for my grandchildren, they buy everything.
As the president of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, I represent the designers. And while we can by no means take the blame for eating disorders, we can play our part in addressing this important issue.