For most of us, December 31 is New Year’s Eve, but for fashionistas, this is the birthdate of the fabulous Diane von Furstenberg. The fashion guru’s secret to youth—she was born back in 1946! – is simple and succinct. As she puts it: “Smile. Smiling is the best face-lift. Young girls should know that you age into the face that you make. So if you complain and frown a lot, it will show up later. If you smile a lot, your face will be beautiful as you age.” She ought to know. She published her first beauty book back in the disco heydays of 1976. Diane von Furstenberg’s Book of Beauty: How to Become a More Attractive, Confident and Sensual Woman was the quintessential liberated woman’s tome.
She lived the American Dream before she was thirty, marrying into the German princely House of Furstenberg as the wife of Austro-Italian Prince Egonof Furstenberg. With a title and plenty of cash she never had to work, but she did, developing a multimillion-dollar fashion empire while raising two children and living life as a jetsetter. As she puts it: “The minute I knew I was about to be Egon’s wife, I decided to have a career. I wanted to be someone of my own, and not just a plain little girl who got married beyond her desserts.”
Von Furstenberg’s wrap dress, a cultural sensation in the seventies, hangs in the Smithsonian Institution. “No one was making a little bourgeois dress, so I did,” she told Newsweek. The dress was such a phenomenon that in the five years it was on the market, Diane sold more than five million of them. Her entry into the beauty business in 1979 was as serendipitous and as efficacious.
She is now an international luxury lifestyle brand offering four complete collections a year. Diane von Fürstenberg (DvF) is available in over 72 countries and 61 shops worldwide and the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) awarded her the Lifetime Achievement Award and named her as their president, a position she has held since 2006.
But how does she stay so youthful without resorting to plastic surgery like so many others her age? “I would say water!” she told an Australian beauty magazine. She believes plenty of water is the key to the fountain of youth. Sixty percent of our total body weight is made of water. Fact is, the quantity of body water decreases as we age. While we have tons of serums, hormones, and Botox and fillers to help us look younger, you can also stave off the aging process by adjusting the amount and type of water we consume.