Iris Apfel: Fashion Legend and Accidental Icon Dies at 102

The fashion world mourns the loss of Iris Apfel, a woman whose unique style and infectious personality made her a beloved figure in the industry and beyond.

Known for her eclectic mix of designer pieces and vintage finds, Apfel was a true original who inspired countless people to embrace their individuality.

who is a Iris Apfel

 Iris Apfel
Iris Apfel

Born in 1921, Iris Apfel’s love of fashion was sparked by her boutique-owning mother. She studied art history before delving into the world of textiles and interior design. Along with her husband Carl, she founded Old World Weavers, a company specializing in restoration projects, including work at the White House.

Her passion for fabrics, textures, and historical fashion would influence her signature look for decades to come.

It wasn’t until later in life that Apfel truly became a fashion icon. In 2005, the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute featured her wardrobe in an exhibit titled “Rara Avis” (Rare Bird).

Her bold, layered outfits, oversized glasses, and bright red lipstick became synonymous with her style. She embraced a “more is more” philosophy, fearlessly mixing haute couture with flea market treasures.

The Rise of an Accidental Icon

Apfel’s infectious enthusiasm and witty quotes made her a media darling. She collaborated with brands like H&M, MAC Cosmetics, and Zenni Optical, bringing her eclectic aesthetic to the masses.

Despite her fame, she remained humble, calling herself an “accidental icon” and encouraging everyone to discover their own personal style.

Impact and Legacy

Iris Apfel’s influence extended far beyond the runway. She was a champion of self-expression, reminding people of all ages that fashion should be fun. Her ability to break down conventional notions of style was revolutionary, paving the way for a more inclusive and playful approach to dressing.


When did Iris Apfel die?

She passed away in 1 March 20243 at the age of 102.

What was Iris Apfel known for?

Her fearless fashion sense, combining designer labels with vintage pieces and statement accessories.

Did Iris Apfel have a design company?

She and her husband owned Old World Weavers, a textile company specializing in antique fabrics and restoration.

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