Design icon, Iris Apfel turned 102, here’s a look at her vivacious life and work
Iris Apfel turned 102 years old! The American businesswoman, interior designer, fashion stylist and actress, recently celebrated her 102 birth on August 29. Iris Apfel is known for her fashion & style, wearing vibrant hues, styled with some sizeable beaded neckpieces and unmissable accessories and not to forget her large framed- spectacles. She is well recognized and celebrated for her ‘more-is-more’ approach to accessorizing. She was born in 1921 in Queens, New York, to a father whose family owned a glass and mirror business, and a mother who owned a fashion boutique.
Along with her late husband, Carl Apfel, she launched the textile firm Old World Weavers in 1950, which ran until they retired in 1992. Throughout her career, she took on restoration projects in the White House for nine US presidents.
Over her career, Iris Apfel took part in a variety of design restoration projects, including work at the White House for nine presidents: Harry S. Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, and Bill Clinton.
In 2005, she showcased her large collection of clothing and accessories in an exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, titled “Rara Avis (Rare Bird): The Irreverent Iris Apfel”. Her decades-long career in fashion and design became the subject of a 2015 documentary, simply called Iris.
In 2011, Iris Apfel became a visiting professor at the University of Texas at Austin in its Division of Textiles and Apparel. In 2016, she performed in a television commercial for the French car DS 3 and was the face of the Australian brand Blue Illusion. In March 2016, Apfel announced a collaboration with technology startup WiseWear on an upcoming line of smart jewellery. In 2018 she published a biography with HarperCollins entitled Iris Apfel: Accidental Icon. In 2019, at the age of 97, she signed a modelling contract with global agency IMG. Seeing she was frequently sought out for appearances, Tommy Hilfiger encouraged her to sign with formal representation.
With an infectious energy, boundless enthusiasm and a spirit that is truly ‘Rara Avis’ she holds us and the entire design world in complete awe of her. With the wisdom of her 100+ plus she keeps growing lovelier by the day thereby proving that age is after all just a number for a vivacious, and stunning woman like her!
*Content sourced from various internet resources