This is Diane von Furstenberg – a creator of the legendary wrap dress in 1970s.
We, women rave about this wrap dress (indeed I’m a big fan* of her dresses!), because it’s simply and timelessly beautiful. Her dresses are easy to wear in any occasion- for work, home or party and make women feel good in them. To me her dress design is an ultimate example of ‘simplicity’.

Recently I was reading her biography ‘A signature life’, and there I found the secret of her ‘simplicity’ design!
“I have always believed that a woman’s clothes should feel like her, be a part of her, and an extension of her personality…. my clothes are flattering to women and not overwhelming. Many designers (that time in 1970s) were men, whose clothes may have shown their creativity, but were not always designed to enhance a woman. It is so much more important for a woman to be able to express herself rather than expressing a designer’s ego.”
Diane von Furstenberg, from A Signature Life

That’s it! She was truly customer-centric. That’s the secret.
She deeply understood women. She was empathetic to women in any age whose deep desire was feeling attractive and confident – Feeling female. Her principle of making woman to feel attractive and confident was deeply rooted whatever she designed. And that created her timelessly style!

Why is this relevant to financial services?
Because this teaches us what ‘customer-centric’ means. Being customer-centric is not about talking about it in the power point slide. It’s about deeply, deeply, really deeply understanding customers’ needs: not only functional needs, but more importantly their emotional needs. Do banks help customers feel good about their money? Do banks enhance customers’ financial wellbeing by providing meaningful products and services?

Banks, simplicity starts from ‘deep understanding of customers’.
Let’s be the wrap dress of our customers. Simple to wear, feeling good.

Me talking about ‘Simplicity for Financial Services’ in DvF dress at Next Bank Europe 2012 in Rome. An evidence that I’m a big fan of her dress. 🙂

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