Breaking | Renowned Fashion Icon Iris Apfel Passes Away at 102
Breaking | Renowned Fashion Icon Iris Apfel Passes Away at 102
Iris Apfel, the legendary fashion maven celebrated for her expansive and vibrant wardrobe, as well as the focal point of Albert Maysles’ captivating 2014 documentary “Iris,” has passed away at the age of 102.

Iris Apfel breathed her last at her residence in Palm Beach, Florida. Her agent, Lori Sale, expressed profound sentiments, stating, “Iris Apfel was nothing short of extraordinary. Collaborating with her was a privilege of a lifetime. I’ll miss her daily inquiries, always eager for the latest. Her boundless zest for work was unparalleled. She was a visionary in every sense, viewing the world through her distinctive lens—literally adorned with her iconic, oversized spectacles. Through her eyes, the world was a symphony of hues, a tapestry of patterns and prints. Her artistic vision elevated the ordinary to the extraordinary, seamlessly blending the unconventional with elegance, creating magic.”

Born in Queens, New York, Apfel embarked on her professional journey with Women’s Wear Daily before venturing into interior design in the 1950s. Later, alongside her husband Carl, she established the textile company Old World Weavers. Following Carl’s passing in 2015, Apfel continued to cultivate her immense collection of garments and accessories. In 2005, the Metropolitan Museum of Art honored her with the exhibition “Rara Avis: Selections From the Iris Apfel Collection,” marking the institution’s inaugural solo showcase of an individual’s attire.

Iris Apfel
Iris Apfel

Remembering Iris Apfel: A Fashion Icon’s Enduring Legacy

The exhibition catapulted Apfel into the spotlight, earning her celebrity status and featuring her in numerous publications and advertising campaigns. Her fame soared with the publication of the 2007 coffee-table book “Rare Bird of Fashion: The Irreverent Iris Apfel.” Remarkably, at the age of 97, Apfel signed a modeling contract with IMG, further cementing her status as an age-defying icon.

Albert Maysles’ documentary, which premiered at the New York Film Festival in 2014 before its theatrical release in 2015, offered a poignant exploration of Apfel’s boundless creativity and sharp wit in her golden years. Variety hailed it as “a joyous celebration of creativity and razor-sharp wit sustained into old age,” underscoring Maysles’ prowess as a documentarian and Apfel’s enduring legacy.

Iris Apfel’s creativity shone not in creating something new, but in her remarkable amalgamation of found objects. Her illustrious career as an interior designer included collaborations with multiple occupants of the White House, with discreet references to her encounters with Jackie Kennedy left hanging in the air. Meanwhile, her vast collection stored in a sprawling Long Island City warehouse reflected her rich history of catering to upscale clients with adventurous tastes, leaving an indelible mark on the world of fashion and design.

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