Iris Apfel: A Fashion Icon and Trailblazer

Iris Apfel: A Fashion Icon and Trailblazer

Iris Apfel, a name synonymous with style and individuality, is most famous for her unique fashion sense and her immense contributions to the world of design and fashion. Born on August 29, 1921, in Astoria, Queens, New York, Iris Apfel has become an inspiration to people of all ages with her fearless approach to fashion and her unwavering confidence.

Early Life

Iris Apfel grew up in a creative household, surrounded by art and culture. Her parents owned a fashion boutique, which exposed her to the world of fashion from a young age. This early exposure played a significant role in shaping her unique sense of style and her love for all things beautiful and unconventional.


Iris Apfel’s career in the fashion industry began in the early 1950s when she and her husband, Carl Apfel, founded Old World Weavers, a textile manufacturing company. Their company quickly gained recognition for its exquisite fabrics and unique designs, attracting clients such as the White House and esteemed interior designers.

However, it was Iris Apfel’s personal style and her ability to effortlessly mix high fashion with flea market finds that truly made her a fashion icon. Her bold use of accessories, including oversized glasses, statement jewelry, and vibrant colors, became her signature look.

Apfel’s unique sense of style led to collaborations with renowned designers and brands, including MAC Cosmetics and Kate Spade. She also became a muse for fashion photographers and was featured in numerous fashion magazines, further solidifying her status as a style icon.

Personal Life

Despite her immense success and fame, Iris Apfel remains down-to-earth and approachable. She has often spoken about the importance of embracing one’s individuality and not conforming to societal norms. Apfel’s authenticity and genuine love for fashion have endeared her to people around the world.

In recent years, Apfel has also become an advocate for age inclusivity in the fashion industry. With her advanced age, she has shattered stereotypes and shown that style has no expiration date. Through her collaborations and appearances, she has inspired people of all ages to embrace their uniqueness and express themselves through fashion.


Iris Apfel’s influence extends far beyond the fashion industry. Her bold and unapologetic approach to personal style has inspired countless individuals to embrace their own creativity and express themselves through fashion. She has shown that style is not limited by age, size, or societal expectations.

Apfel’s impact on the fashion world has been recognized with numerous awards and honors, including the prestigious Women’s Entrepreneurship Day Pioneer Award. Her unique perspective and unwavering confidence continue to inspire designers, fashion enthusiasts, and individuals seeking to break free from the constraints of conventional fashion.

Remembering the Iconic Style of Iris Apfel

It is with heavy hearts that we remember the passing of the legendary fashion icon, Iris Apfel. Known for her bold and eclectic style, Apfel was a true trailblazer in the fashion industry.

Apfel’s unique fashion sense was characterized by her love for vibrant colors, oversized accessories, and layering different patterns and textures. She believed that fashion should be fun and a form of self-expression, and she certainly embodied that philosophy in her own wardrobe.

Throughout her life, Apfel made a significant impact on the fashion world. She was not only a style icon but also a businesswoman, interior designer, and muse to many designers. Her distinctive look and fearless approach to fashion inspired countless individuals to embrace their own personal style and take risks in their wardrobe choices.

Apfel’s influence extended beyond the fashion industry. She became a symbol of aging gracefully and embracing individuality at any age. Her confidence and zest for life were contagious, and she served as a role model for people of all generations.

While Iris Apfel may no longer be with us, her legacy will continue to inspire and influence the world of fashion. Her unique style and fearless spirit will forever be remembered and celebrated.


Iris Apfel’s incredible journey from a young girl with a passion for fashion to a global fashion icon is a testament to the power of individuality and self-expression. Her fearless approach to style has left an indelible mark on the fashion industry and has inspired generations to embrace their own unique sense of self. Iris Apfel is not just a fashion icon; she is a trailblazer who continues to challenge the norms and redefine what it means to be stylish.

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