Reaching her 100th birthday with a tribute collection, Iris Apfel is the most creative and long-living woman in the fashion industry. We celebrate her creativity and audacity to create looks that combine luxury and flea market treasures.
Iris Apfel’s unmistakable style combines all kinds of colors and patterns–an unmistakable aesthetic that has managed to captivate and inspire everyone who sees it. As an interior decorator, she knew how to succeed as a businesswoman and a fashion icon. Even in 2005, her clothing collection was part of a major exhibition at the MET in New York. Since then, she has graced the cover of various magazines and starred in campaigns for brands like MAC and & Other Stories. Last August, she turned 100 years old and launched, together with H&M, a collection that pays tribute to her unique style.
The New York socialite says that she got into fashion when was 11 years old and bought her first accessory. “I’m a Great Depression girl, we didn’t have a lot of money. Nobody had it. And when you got some, you learned to spend it wisely,” she said. She was born in the 1920s in NYC, where her mother owned a boutique and her father had an import business. When she married Carl Apfel, she began to build her interior design empire, creating the Old World Weavers brand and advising nine US presidents, including Truman and Bill Clinton.
“Suddenly I’ve become a geriatric star. My husband and I laughed a lot at the situation. I’ve been doing this all my life and now I find loads of magazines, mostly European ones, that are writing about me. But I am not doing anything different than what I have done for the last 70 years! ” She is a true pioneer in the art of mix & matcha and fan of buying pieces in flea markets and combining them with garments from brands like Dior, Versace, and Lanvin. She contrasts her designer looks with African necklaces and Moroccan bracelets in her most hallmark outfits.
She’s a tireless collector fully unwilling to adapt to new technologies: “whoever wants me can find me by phone. Email and cell phones have only made young people dull and boring. They no longer know how to speak and communicate.” She adds: “I actually don’t like modern. Trends come and go. I like timeless clothing, the simple, what you can wear for a long time, although nowadays everything is throwaway”. She’s one of my personal idols who celebrates individuality and has fun with fashion. Let’s keep celebrating and admiring Iris for many years to come!