Thursday, May 9th, 2013

Grandmother Power

Ari Seth Cohen and his grandmother in the header image from his blog.

By Joan Schneider

I had the pleasure this week of attending the Hebrew SeniorLife College of Retirement Series at Orchard Cove in Canton, MA to hear Ari Seth Cohen talk about his favorite subject—Advanced Style—which is also the title of his book and his blog. He talked about how his stylish grandmother—a librarian from New York and a Columbia graduate—profoundly influenced his life. She and her stylish friends paved the way for his passion to convince women of all ages that you can be expressive and creative, no matter what your age.

Ari, single handedly, is helping the fashion industry understand that women from 65 to over 100—can have the type of style and grace that are perfect for fashion ads and magazine covers. The women in the short video he shared were so stylish, articulate and wise—that I have captured some of my favorite quotes below:

“Dressing up is an exercise in creativity, it makes you feel better.”

“You’re treated nicer when you dress up, try it.”

“Don’t be afraid to not look like everyone else.”

“If you go into a store and the sales person says everyone is wearing it, put the dress immediately back on the rack.”

“When asked how old you are, say somewhere between 50 and death—that stops people from asking again.”

“If you don’t have a dress code, why adhere to someone else’s?”

“I may be old, but I think young!”

“If someone doesn’t like what you are wearing—tell them you don’t give a (expletive deleted)!”

On the eve of Mother’s Day, I am reminded of my own grandmother, Rose, who was my muse. She was a true non-conformist. She had three husbands, one of whom was the chauffer of Dutch Shultz, the NJ mobster. She owned a bar in Jersey City, NJ and wore white go go boots, a magnificent mink coat and the trendiest clothes you could buy at Lane Bryant.  She never cared what people said about her—she did her own thing and always bragged that she was the most educated person in her family—she graduated 8th grade. She was a true original and had her own type of style that could not be duplicated.

To me, the Hebrew SeniorLife seminar was a true testimony to REAGE—the organization’s philosophy that how we deal with aging is changing.  That we are not getting older, we are getting better. That style and vitality are ageless and that you are as young as you feel.  All I have to say is Ari Seth Cohen and I agree.

To learn more about Hebrew SeniorLife’s upcoming College of Retirement Living events visit: www.hslindependentliving.org

Joan Schneider, President and Creative Director

Joan Schneider, President and Creative Director


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