Leandra Medine has the best job. In a video segment called "The Chatroom," the Man Repeller founder interviews Diane von Furstenberg, who speaks almost exclusively in idioms and adorably calls Millennials "Millenniums." In the interview, von Furstenberg reveals what has kept her label so young all these years — and it's only partly because she still feels like a 26-year-old herself. It's her ability to rebirth herself and her brand that keeps it feeling so youthful, and it shows. For example, House of DVF , the reality show where young men and women compete for a position as brand ambassador for the iconic line (think Paris Hilton's My New BFF but with a 401k) is in its second season, and Karlie Kloss is the supermodel face of the ad campaigns. Clearly, von Furstenberg knows how to stay relevant.
Viewers can learn some surprising facts about Medine from watching this video as well, since she more than once finds herself being interviewed by von Furstenberg instead: "I only take a carry-on to Paris for Fashion Week," she says at one point.
The interview ends with von Furstenberg asking Medine what she wants for herself. Medine responds that she ultimately wants to build a brand for which people will be proud to work. To this, von Furstenberg smiles and says, "So we match."
Von Furstenberg is more than just a royal-adjacent head of a fashion dynasty, industry leader, The Woman I Wanted To Be author, and reality TV star. She's also the source of endless pearls of wisdom that thankfully, she never holds back. Here are some of the shiniest gems from her interview on "The Chatroom."
1. "Milleniums" are the faces of their own brands.
"It's my own experiences as a woman, that I used in my life and in my work, and in order to defend myself I have to express myself, so I opened up very much, my body myself was very much the front of what the brand became. I was so much the front and the speaker, and I feel like that's what happened now to milleniums."
2. Her best advice? She got it from her mamma.
Medine brings up a scene from The City where von Furstenberg offers up some advice from her own mother to a heartbroken Whitney Port. "My mother used to say 'Absence is to love what the wind is to fire; it extinguishes the small one and amplifies big one,'" she recalls. "It was so annoying to hear my mother give advice to everybody all the time, I used to hate it. And then the minute she died I took over. [It's] so much in me.
3. She's a 20-something at heart.
"I was 26 when I started [my line], and at 28 I was on the cover of Newsweek. The truth is — I don't look it — but I'm still that 26 year old girl, in the good and in the bad. Sometimes I think I should mature a little. That's why when I meet a designer or anybody who is creative, I always ask to see their first work, their first book, their first movie, that's when you see the essence. [There's] nothing to lose."
4. She wants to be your friend.
"We call it a love brand because it's a friend to the woman's closet, and I try to design as a friend to the woman. The fabric feels good, the cut is flattering, the color is uplifting. Because I'm such a practical woman. I pack very lightly, it's all about movement and being ready.
5. That "I woke up like this" look is important.
Von Furstenberg compares her lack of surgical enhancements to Medine's tendency to skip makeup. "The fact that you don't wear any makeup is fantastic. I can compare that to the fact that I've had no plastic surgery or anything like that. I'm sure I would look better but I'm not sure I can be me. [That's] important for your generation."
6. She's not afraid to reboot.
"It's not about changing the brand, its about letting a young team reboot it. It's not difficult to relinquish control. What is difficult is finding the right people, and that's what the process we're doing."
7. Even a style icon has a style icon.
"The woman that I find has the most style in the world is Marlene Dietrich — glamorous, beautiful, she was a fighter, she had many lovers, did exactly what she wanted."
8. Her advice to anyone moving to NYC for fashion...
"She should think about why she wants to work in fashion, and which is the fashion designer that she likes the most. And then she should try to find any job. Any job. Any job. It doesn't matter, just get in. [There's] no small job. There's only small people. And then you arrive first and you live last. Somebody will notice you. And you'll go up. There are no short-cuts — sometimes there are short cuts but you pay for it anyway
9.) There's an idiom for everything
"The most important relationship you have is with yourself. If you have that, any other relationship is a plus and not a must.
Head over to Man Repeller to watch the rest of the interview.
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