The global fashion magazine April 15, 2024 
Out now: Lucire issue 48, with free shipping for UK and US


Style icon Iris Apfel passes away at 102

The American style icon, known for her bold colours, textures and patterns, and who found global fame later in life, died just after turning 102½
March 2, 2024/5.12

Iris Apfel, the designer and fashion icon, has passed away at age 102. No cause of death was given.

Her agent, Lori Sale, confirmed her passing, and an Instagram post to her 3 million followers went up on Friday.

It was only on Thursday that Apfel’s people posted on Instagram in commemoration of her half-birthday.

She was born Iris Barrel on August 29, 1921, to Samuel and Sadye Barrel in Queens, New York City. Sadye owned a fashion boutique.

Iris studied art history at New York University, and attended art school at the University of Wisconsin.

She married Carl Apfel in 1948. In 1950, they launched the textile firm Old World Weavers, which specialized in restoration work, including work at the White House.

It was in 2005 that she came to greater prominence when the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art hosted a show about her, dubbed Rara Avis (Rare Bird): the Irreverent Iris Apfel.

Apfel starred in a documentary about her, Iris, directed by Albert Maysles, which premièred at the New York Film Festival in October 2014.

In 2017, she signed a modelling contract with IMG after being encouraged by Tommy Hilfiger.

Mattel even made a Barbie doll in her image in 2018. The same year, she launched her biography, Iris Apfel: Accidental Icon. In 2021, just after her 100th birthday, H&M announced a collaboration with Apfel.

Apfel’s style was characterized by bold colours and textures, and her willingness to mix items from mainstream and premium brands. Her oversized glasses were her personal trade mark.
Photograph courtesy Hennes & Mauritz, when its collaboration with Apfel was announced.

You may also like
celebrity / culture / design / entertainment / fashion / film / history / Lucire / modelling / New York / society
Filed by Lucire staff