Diane von Furstenberg can add "life coach" to her laundry list of achievements. The Belgian-American fashion designer, philanthropist, and InStyle guest columnist spoke to a room of 800 women earlier this week at the Fast Forward Women's Innovation Summit, held at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art.
In an on-stage interview, Melanne Verveer, the first United States Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women's Issues, asked DVF if she wanted to talk about aging. "Yes, because it's an achievement!" The fashion icon responded, to an eruption of cheers.
"I turned 70 this year, and I tell everybody because, first of all, I like the sound of it. I like them to say, 'Oh really?' Although they don’t mean it," the designer joked, continuing to say, "But also because it means that I made it. And truly, having lived the life that I lived, I should be 140."
DVF imparted her decades of industry wisdom onto women including Chelsea Clinton, Andrea Jung (President of Grameen America and first female CEO of Avon), and Girl Scout Troop 6000 (dedicated to serving homeless girls in New York City), who all attended the event, hosted by Seneca Women, a global leadership community dedicated to helping girls get ahead.
"Don’t be afraid of the years," she said, urging women to find comfort in their skin.
VIDEO: Diane von Furstenberg Explains Why She Encourages Women to Be Their Own Best Friend
In the video clip above, she advised women to be their own best friend and to look inward for inspiration, before turning to the world for advancement and success. But it's not easy, she said. “Make sure you and yourself are your best friend forever, and that requires a lot of practice.”
Now that's a message we can get behind.