Iris Apfel

Iris Apfel

Muse & Businesswoman

The interior decorator and businesswoman is renowned for her colourful, eclectic taste, which has been a subject of discussion at the Met ball.

United States Models & Muses 2013 BoF 500 2013

...

Vital statistics

Biography

Nonagenarian Iris Apfel is one of fashion’s most instantaneously recognisable tastemakers. She has been the subject of several museum exhibitions, a coffee table book and even an advertising campaign for MAC cosmetics.

Often colourful, always interesting, the bespectacled New Yorker's popularity was once a rare exception to fashion’s love of youth. However, things are changing, and that is in no small part due to the wit, taste and intellect of Apfel, who has described herself as "the world's oldest living teenager."

In 2005, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City premiered an exhibition about Apfel, titled Rara Avis (Rare Bird): The Irreverent Iris Apfel. Carla Fendi, Giorgio Armani and Karl Lagerfeld were counted among the numerous attendees. Apfel has graced the pages of Vogue Italia (photographed by Bruce Weber), and, at 91 years old, was the oldest cover star ever to grace Dazed & Confused.

Apfel studied art history at New York University and attended art school at the University of Wisconsin. As a young woman, Apfel worked for Women's Wear Daily and for the interior designer Elinor Johnson. She has also acted as an assistant to illustrator Robert Goodman.

Career

  • Old World Weavers
    Old World Weavers

    1950 - 1982

  • WWD
    WWD

Sign up for BoF's free agenda-setting daily newsletter, with our must read features and the top fashion business news and analysis of the day.