Style Icon Iris Apfel Dies At 102

Interior designer and style icon Iris Apfel, known for her over-the-top use of costume jewelry and accessories, has died at 102.

“With her big, round, black-rimmed glasses, bright red lipstick and short white hair, she stood out at every fashion show she attended,” according to The Associated Press. “Her style was the subject of museum exhibits and a documentary film, ‘Iris,’ directed by Albert Maysles.”

She loved being in the spotlight. 

"The influential interior designer loved chunky accessories, jazz, work and seized every opportunity that came her way, from prestigious art exhibitions to magazine covers, a cosmetic line, a documentary, a modeling contract and a Barbie doll made in her image,” according to CNN



A self-declared “accidental icon,” straight-talking Apfel modeled for Vogue in 2018. In 2019, aged 97, she landed a modeling contract with IMG, according toVogue.

Known for working on interior designs for  Estée Lauder, Greta Garbo and nine U.S. presidents, Apfel was still making deals into her 90s. She struck a deal with home goods company Hunter Douglas to appear in a commercial for window treatment designs, according toMarketing Daily.  

“Inspired by Apfel’s ritzy high-low outfits that clashed flea market finds with haute couture (‘I like to improvise; I always think I like to do things as though I’m playing jazz’), the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute exhibited 40 pieces from her personal collection in 2005,” according toThe New York Times, which ran a collection of photos of Apfel through the years with its obituary.  

She appeared in another campaign for eBay to promote its watch category just three years ago, according toMediaPost Agency Daily, and ultra-low-cost Zenni celebrated her 100th birthday with a new line of frames, according toMarketing Daily.  

“In more recent years, Apfel launched her own makeup collection for Mac and a line of eyewear for Eyebobs, as well as a line of bright and bold accessories for the Home Shopping Network,” according to a Mac Cosmetics blog post. 

She was the very definition of anti-minimalist.

“She believed, rather, in the virtues of muchness, of giving free rein to your inner extremism and letting your fashion freak flag fly,” according to The New York Times. "Above all, she believed in the power of personal style, which she saw as another term for self-expression. Or self-creation.”

She called herself “the world’s oldest living teenager.”

“I’m amazed at my life at this stage of the game,” she told The Times in 2019. “It is like living in a fairy tale.”

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