Diane Von Furstenberg believes it's never been a better time to work in the fashion industry.

The iconic designer - who is judging the final of the International Woolmark Prize on Saturday (16.02.13) - says there is so much more support for up-and-coming sartorialists than there ever was when she was starting out.

She said: ''I think that there is more support now for young designers with things like the Woolmark Prize and the CFDA/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund. I always tell young designers to enter these awards because just writing the application is one of the most helpful things you can do, because they make you articulate what you are trying to accomplish. Clarity is so important.''

Diane - who is also president of The Council of Fashion Designers of America - is joined on the panel by Donatella Versace and Victoria Beckham and she wants to be ''surprised'' and to see a ''strong point of view'' from the final winner.

Speaking of her fellow judges, she added vogue.co.uk: ''It is a fabulous group and we have all been in the industry with one another for a long time. I think that we will all bring different perspectives that work well together. As CFDA president, I bring knowledge of what is going on in America and also I hope to inspire young designers and to foster them, because that is the most important thing.''