If you’ve ever gotten the birthday blues, allow fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg to forcefully yank you right out of them.
The 76-year-old, who created the iconic wrap dress, which remains beloved the world around, appeared on Julia Louis-Dreyfus’s Wiser Than Me podcast this week and shared her wisdom about aging, fashion, and the importance of a good mirror selfie.
“I feel that I have lived every single day of my life,” von Furstenberg said. “In that life, in that short life, even though I am 76, I have piled up so much that I certainly could not feel any younger. I am who I am.”
She doesn’t shy away from saying how old she is, she said, because “I love being alive. That’s how long I have been alive, so yes.” She went on to call aging “the proof of living.”
And she’s sharing that proof: Last year, she made headlines for posting a swimsuit mirror selfie to her Instagram, mentioning in the caption that “I feel stupid smiling at myself.”
And by the way, she still swims in the sea about two hours a day, though she wears a full-body swimsuit with SPF protection to take care of her skin. Von Furstenberg had a bout with tongue cancer at age 47, and has been cancer-free since 1994.
Owning and loving her self-image remains important to the designer, she said.
“I have a tendency to think that, at least in my case, when I look at myself in the mirror, I find my strength there,” she said. “So somehow, when I look at myself in the mirror, I like it and then sometimes I see a picture of me and I say, ‘Oh my God, that’s not how I feel like.”
She also revealed that the dress that made her famous isn’t necessarily one of her go-to silhouettes; she prefers flowier designs over the wrap dress, as she doesn’t feel she has a small waist that she’d like to highlight.
“I created the wrap dress, but truly, it’s the dress that created me because it gave me my freedom, it gave me my identity,” she said.