Cynthia Rowley is more than a fashion designer. She aims to inspire—whether she’s mentoring America’s Next Top Model and Project Runway contestants as a guest judge or sharing lifestyle tips in her best-selling books. It’s only natural that she’s now taking her talents from the design studio to the sound studio. With Ageless, Cynthia explores a host of topics—ranging from fashion to motherhood—with her daughter, Kit Keenan.
The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Kit started her own fashion line, KIT, while she was still in college. And like her mother, she’s stitching life and work together into one big journey of discovery that shows no signs of slowing down.
We spoke with mother and daughter about their lives, their work, and their new podcast created in partnership with Spotify and powered by Anchor.
How does the creative process of podcasting compare to your other endeavors?
Cynthia: Just like any creative project Kit and I do, it’s very collaborative. We both have a strong point of view about most things, so we talk out the topics for days before. But when we go into the recording studio, we just have bullet points and try to let the conversation flow.
What is it about your relationship and your conversations with your mother that resonate with mother and daughter listeners from all walks?
Kit: I’m so lucky to have the type of relationship that I do with my mom. We build each other up, we challenge each other, and we like to make everything an adventure. This being said, we cover so many different parts of our relationship that there’s something for everyone to connect to.
In your Ageless conversations, both your and Kit’s independent spirits come through (especially in your episode-two discussion about college and finding your own path). What are some traits you think Kit got from you? Which are entirely her own?
Cynthia: She’s always been her own person, and my way of teaching has always been by example (I guess that means she rejected my bad habits!). I know she’s a hard worker, an inventive thinker, and loves to be social. I’m not sure, but I hope I can take credit for that.
You grew up with podcasts, and your mom didn’t. Are you teaching her about the medium? Also, what’s your favorite podcast?
Kit: I don’t need to teach my mom how to talk. She can go on forever—ha! Even though I’ve grown up with podcasts, we’re on this journey together. I think what makes our podcast stand out is how even though my mom and I work in the same industry, we have such different perspectives and experiences.
Now we’d like to play a game to see how well you two actually know each other. You’re going to answer each question twice—once with your answer, once with the other’s (think “The Newlywed Game” format). Ready?
What do you think are the three keys to being a successful entrepreneur?
Kit: Charisma, organization, and adaptation.
My mom would say curiosity, risk-taking, and never taking no for an answer.
Cynthia: Original and authentic ideas, resourcefulness, and risk-taking.
Kit would say risk-taking, surrounding yourself with smart people, and never taking no for an answer.
We’ll call that round a tie.
What are the three essential things you always pack when you travel?
Kit: A pillow case, resistance bands, and a party dress.
My mom’s answers will be: A bathing suit, heels, and cut-offs.
Cynthia: Swimsuit, cut-offs or jeans, and shades.
Kit will answer: Swimsuit, one of her KIT hoodies, and a tiny bag of beauty products.
Final question: Who are your three favorite musicians or bands?