Jennifer Lopez. Christie Brinkley in the Sports Illustrated Swimwear Edition. Helen Mirren at the Oscars. Oprah Winfrey. Sophia Vegara. Jane Fonda. Diane Keaton. What do all these women have in common? They’re ageless in mind and body.
Now high powered mother and daughter duo, Fashion Designer Cynthia Rowley and her 22 year old daughter, Kit Keenan, a wellness and beauty advocate, as well as a designer in her own right have launched their aptly named Apple podcast Ageless. They’re using their newly developed platform to explore and share their beliefs about everything from body image, clean beauty, to food, justice and astrology but from two very different perspectives.
Their significant age gap actually works to their advantage as the podcast highlights their unique relationship along with their approach and the challenges facing women in an ever-shifting fashion industry as they age. They’ve already tackled such varied topics from “The Changing Fashionscape” to a deep dive into “Medical Grade Skincare.”
The timing probably couldn’t be better as Rowley, globally known for her eponymous label as the celebrated designer of her signature wet suits, kaftans and home decor, is also in the midst of a major career pivot. Like so many other founders and entrepreneurs, Rowley has been transitioning her business to a predominately direct-to-consumer model over the past year to gain more control of her sales, as well as launching pre-order periods in order to reduce inventory and eliminate unnecessary production waste.
With the joint venture ramping up and Rowley rethinking her business in the midst of Covid, the compelling mother-daughter duo stepped back, exhaled and shared their insights and contrasting attitudes into their ageless beauty, fitness, fashion, relationship and business routines. See if you agree and do your own introspective survey on what’s the ageless approach that works for you.
Beauty: Less Versus More. In terms of their beauty routines there are several similarities between the duo. Rowley’s attitude towards beauty is less is more confessing, “I don’t wear much makeup. My go-to’s are a quality volumizing mascara and jet black eyeliner. We had a whole conversation with the beauty director at Goop, Jean-Godfrey June, on Ageless where we discussed the toxicity of many of the conventional makeup products we are (all) so quick to apply directly on our skin. Since then, I have been pairing down as much as possible and replacing old essentials with clean alternatives.”
Keenan confessed she is “super free with my beauty routine. As long as I am eating lots of healthy fats and taking care of my skin health. I love experimenting with makeup.” It makes sense as testing new looks is part of anyone’s beauty journey and as we age it’s often a positive sign of knowing oneself to develop a signature look which is often the case with some of the most iconic women in the world.
Fitness: Spontanaiety Versus Structure. Rowley “doesn’t set out specific times to workout.” Instead she’s just a very active person confessing she loves “walking, surfing, biking, and always take the stairs.” For Keenan, ageless fitness means “having a routine that is maintainable. Flexibility is key. I love setting my workouts based on how my body feels. Some days that’s an hour long HIIT workout, others it’s a long walk listening to my favorite podcast.”
The secret is to know your routine, select a time of day that’s best for you and then stick to it. Someone very wise recently said to me, “there’s almost nothing that can’t wait an hour so you can fit in your workout for the day.” So true.
Fashion: Experimentation Is Part Of Finding Your Groove. Rowley “encourages experimenting with your wardrobe no matter your age” adding “I know my assets and my shortcomings but my style is always changing.” Keenan loves “incorporating truly ageless pieces.” Her favorite ensembles are “always ones that mix contemporary pieces with vintage” including constantly checking second hand retail websites for finds. Their contrasting styles also inspired a podcast episode with Rent the Runway COO Maureen Sullivan and CMO Sarah Tam. The key is to understand your own style and develop it over time but then step out of your comfort zone to keep evolving.
Relationships: Build Support Systems. Rowley has been “lucky enough to have a huge range of friends in her life. Qualities she looks for include having a sense of humor and being empathetic. It’s helped Rowley embrace “differences in age and interests within her group of friends.” Keenan approaches it slightly differently but ultimately with the same results. The co-host shared “how important it is for her to know myself really well. It has been crucial in establishing and maintaining lifelong relationships.” Podcast guest Serena Kerrigan, the queen of confidence, added “assurance is the only way to avoid toxic codependency.” Think about that for a minute. If you haven’t already slowly built a network of friends, it’s never too late. It’s one of the best gifts you can give yourself to bolster self-confidence.
This is backed up by a study from Mental Health First Aid citing meaningful friendships “help increase our sense of belonging, improve our self-confidence and help reduce stress and anxiety. In fact, studies have shown that those who enjoy close friendships over their teenage years (and beyond) have a lower rate of depression or anxiety later in life.” Friendship is something you never outgrow.
Business: Take Risks But Enjoy The Journey. Rowley recently learned that “the endorphin rush you get when making a business deal is similar to the boost you get from running a race.” Her new mantra is to “try to remember that all of the risk taking and adventure seeking I value in my personal life can and should also relate to my career. “
Keenan summed it all up when she confessed what I’ve been hearing from so many women today. “The pressure to appear ageless and in control of your career seems to creep in at a younger and younger age these days. I have always been a very organized person and I tend to be a bit of a perfectionist. I would always rather over-perform for brands or partners I’m working with because I am so young. That being said, it’s important to find value outside of your career. I have to continuously reflect on my part in our toxic ‘hustle culture’. You are worthy of love and self-care regardless of your work ethic.”