The ladies are back in town. After a brief hiatus in Los Angeles last year, Glamour’s 27th annual Women of the Year Summit made a triumphant return to New York today, and Barneys joined forces with the mag for a night of festivity to kickoff the event. The partnership is a natural one, since both organizations are proudly helmed by women at the top of their game—Glamour’s Editor-in-Chief Cindi Leive and Barneys’ first-ever female CEO, Daniella Vitale.

As if this one-two punch of empowerment weren’t strong enough, Vitale and Leive were joined by a cadre of incredibly inspiring women in the form of their co-host committee. Model and body-acceptance activist Ashley Graham, publisher and media savant Arianna Huffington, journalist Christiane Amanpour, playwright Eve Ensler, activist Laurie David, model and entrepreneur Liya Kebede, and singer and actress Zendaya all lent their name to the event and were in attendance along with a cross-section of influential women in fashion, politics, sports, entertainment, and business who have been honored by Glamour in the past.

As the crowd swirled through Freds Downtown, we posed our famous Off Topic party questions to the illustrious guests. From rule breaking to spirit animals, Nextflix queues, and Thanksgiving, no topic was too far afield. Scroll on for a closer look at the night’s festivities and to clean a bit of insight into the minds of some of the more incredible and influential women in the world today.

Two of the evening’s co-hosts, Ashley Graham and Zendaya

The Window: We love that Glamour’s Women of the Year honors trail-blazers, game-changers, and rule-breakers. What rule do you think is made to be broken?
Ashley Graham: All the rules! Fashion rules are meant to be broken, for sure. Being a curvy girl, I’ve always been told that there are rules for my body type. But now that I’ve been breaking them left and right, I feel invigorated, awesome, and like I can wear anything.

The Window: If you could go back and give your younger self any piece of advice, what would it be?
Zendaya: Follow your gut and go with what feels right for you. Any time I’ve ever done something that didn’t sit right with me, it’s always ended up going wrong.

Musicians Chloe and Halle Bailey

Designer Prabal Gurung and model/designer, Liya Kebede

What rule do you think is made to be broken?
Liya Kibede: Every rule! If you’re not breaking the rules, you at least have to question them.

What pieces of advice would you give your younger self?
Liya Kebede: It’s all going to be OK—just that reassurance. When you’re young, I think that’s what you’re looking for, someone to tell you that it’s all right, that you’ll make mistakes, but that it’s all going to be OK. You’ll get back up and you’ll be OK—everyone needs to hear that sometimes.

Designer Derek Lam and Barneys Chief Merchandizing Officer Jennifer Sunwoo

Designer Nili Lotan and one of the evening’s co-hosts, journalist Christiane Amanpour

This has been a monumental year for women’s collective power. What aspect of this year has been most memorable to you?
Nili Lotan: The Women’s March, definitely. My company is basically 99% women, and I took my whole team to the march. It was a phenomenal feeling to experience the freedom to be able to march. It was incredibly empowering.

DJ, model, and entrepreneur Hannah Bronfman

Barneys Creative Director, Matthew Mazzucca, and SVP Marketing/Communications, Tomm Miller

What’s your spirit animal and why?
Matthew Mazzucca: A Great Dane—just like me, they’re clumsy, awkward, and they may hurt you.

What piece of advice would you offer your younger self?
Tomm Miller: Stay humble and show gratitude to those that help support your growth. Believe in yourself, your passion, and your capabilities—don’t give others the power to change your self-perception. Always be over-prepared for a meeting, interview, or presentation.

Artist and model Carlotta Kohl with jewelry designer Pamela Love

Political insider Huma Abedin, publisher and one of the evening’s co-hosts Arianna Huffington, and Glamour EIC Cindi Leive

What rule is made to be broken? 
Cindi Leive: The idea that you have to do things the way they’ve always been done. That’s over. It didn’t work; it’s not working. Women need to break more rules, raise their voices, and not worry about who it offends. That’s how you get things done.

What piece of advice would you offer your younger self?
Cindi Leive: Ask for more advise. I didn’t ask for much advise in my 20s, because as a young person in a big job, I felt like I was supposed to know everything. Now, I ask everyone for advice, and I wish I had done that sooner.

What Thanksgiving tradition or food are you most looking forward to?
Cindi Leive: The whole thing! It’s an elastic waistband situation from Wednesday through Sunday!

Model Halima Aden, U.S. Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad, Glamour’s Cindi Leive, and Cheif Content Officer at Thrive Global Callie Schweitzer

Ibtihaj Muhammad, CEO of Beautycon Media Moj Mahdara, Halima Aden, model Iskra Lawrence, and Ashley Graham

What’s your spirit animal and why?
Ibtihaj Muhammad: I’m a unicorn in my head. I love anything shimmery and pink, so a unicorn can fit that. I truly believe in being anything that you want—that’s my mantra every day when I wake up. When I think of unicorns, it calls to mind being imaginative, so it’s that same thread of envisioning what you want. I try to hit the ground running and work hard so I can achieve my goals.

What piece of advice would you offer your younger self?
Ibtihaj Muhammad: Ignore the haters. When I was younger, I worried about what my friends thought sometimes. But as you grow up, you realize how unimportant all of that feedback, especially the negativity, was. I worried about my success and whether it’d come, but I wish I could tell my younger self that it’d all be OK and just to relax.

Actresses DeWanda Wise and Dawn-Lyen Gardner

Playwright, performer, activists, and one of the evening’s co-hosts, Eve Ensler, with another guest

Barneys Fashion Director Marina Larroudé with Glamour Fashion Director Gillian Davison

What piece of advice would you offer your younger self?
Marina Larroudé: Don’t be so naïve. Later in life, you’re going to have to work harder than you think. The higher you rise in your career and the farther you go, the more work and passion you have to put into it. A lot of women who started out in this industry at the same time I did, they’ve become moms and stopped working. Everyone chooses their own path, but I wish it wasn’t a situation where you have to choose. I just wish I’d known that it was going to be harder than I thought.

What’s your spirit animal and why?
Marina Larroudé: My spirit animal is definitely a pair of Chanel glitter shoes that I just bought at Barneys. They’re me in an object! I really like to have fun and have the best time, whatever I’m doing, in every single part of my life. And that shoe says not to take yourself too seriously.

Author and actress Jill Kargman

Bart Thorpe along with activist and co-host Laurie David