An Hermes Birkin bag, a Burberry trench, a Christian Louboutin heel...there are some classic items that have remained timeless staples in the closets of fashionable women everywhere. The DVF wrap dress is no exception. Spotted on celebs from Kim Catrall to Beyonce Knowles, the simple two-paneled jersey dress of the designer's own invention has become an iconic piece for women of all ages.

Diane von Furstenberg started her design business in the early 1970s, while married to her former husband, a descendant of German royalty. Though she had no financial need to work, von Furstenberg wanted to assert herself as a strong, independent woman. The idea for the wrap dress came to DVF when she spotted Julie Nixon Eisenhower on television wearing one of her wrap tops paired with one of her skirts. After that, DVF started manufacturing the wrap top as a dress. The look was an instant hit, and by 1975, von Furstenberg was making thousands of dresses a week.

In 1976, she graced the cover of Newsweek as an icon of female liberation. The universal style appealed from everyone from housewives to movie stars to politicians. The wrap dress perfectly epitomized DVF's image of an independent woman, as well as the women's liberation of the 1970s.

It was clear the wrap dress was becoming a mainstay in the wardrobes of women. DVF has been quoted that one of her major success secrets is that she thinks like a woman. Her wrap dresses are made of jersey, and gracefully skim over curves without clinging to them. Over the years, the style has survived the closing and reopening of DVF's design business. Stepping away from the fashion spotlight, DVF moved to Paris after a brief stint with cosmetics and home décor. She returned in 1997 to a more than welcoming audience.

The wrap dress continues to sell out of stores today, and though there have been slight alterations over the years, it remains true to its original form. Its latest incarnation is the Bentley style, with a body-conscious silhouette and ruching at the side seams. If you're looking to buy a classic dress that will flatter your figure and won't go out of style, the wrap dress is an investment piece that will last for years. After all, DVF designed it with you in mind.

Happy Birthday to one of our favorite ladies of all time, Diane von Furstenberg. The fashion icon turned 66 on December 31st. Click through the slideshow above to see Diane's style throughout the years!

Photo: Getty Images

Inspirational Words With Diane Von Furstenburg

Inspirational Words With Diane Von Furstenburg