Fashion icon Iris Apfel has passed away at the age of 102 in her Palm Beach, Florida home, leaving behind a legacy of style and wisdom. Renowned for her vibrant and eclectic fashion sense, Apfel championed individuality and fun in dressing up until her final days.

Her journey to fashion fame began later in life, earning her the title of an unlikely muse for later years. With her distinctive blend of bold accessories, including chunky necklaces, colorful coats, and her iconic round-frame glasses, Apfel became a symbol of self-expression and creativity.

In 2005, she made history as the first living non-designer to be featured in a solo exhibition at the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, showcasing her extensive collection of ensembles and accessories. Before her fashion stardom, Apfel co-founded Old World Weavers, specializing in antique fabric reproduction, and served as a restoration consultant for numerous presidential administrations.

Her autobiography, Iris Apfel: Accidental Icon, published in 2018, offered a personal glimpse into her extraordinary life and style. Described affectionately by designer Dries Van Noten as vibrant, irreverent, and vital, Apfel’s passion for beauty transcended status and price tags.

Apfel’s fashion philosophy was rooted in joy and individuality rather than conformity or trends. She broke style conventions with grace and humour, challenging the notion of how older women should dress while maintaining an elegant charm.

Every day, she radiated joy through her vibrant style. In Albert Maysles’ 2014 documentary, she quipped in her distinctive New York accent, “Life is grey and dull… You might as well have a little fun dressing up.”

Despite the riotous colors and eclectic jewelry that adorned her, there was a simplicity to her approach. With impeccable taste devoid of snobbery, she attributed her love for accessorizing to her mother’s wisdom. According to Apfel, her mother instilled in her the idea that a simple black dress could be transformed into numerous outfits by changing the accessories.

Apfel’s fashion repertoire was a delightful mix of high and low, pairing Dior haute couture with flea-market finds and layering vintage pieces with modern staples like a Mickey Mouse T-shirt. Her unique style seamlessly blended different eras and aesthetics, showcasing her fearless approach to fashion.

With her owlish glasses and witty remarks, Apfel embodied wisdom and timeless elegance. Her 102 years serve as a testament to the transformative power of fashion, reminding us to embrace the present and enjoy life’s journey.

As she once said, “You only have one trip. You might as well enjoy it.”

Vale, Iris Apfel.

Here are 10 of her most iconic looks.

Iris Apfel
2008: At the Lighthouse International Light Years Gala at Cipriani 42nd street on October 20.
2010: At the 2010 CFDA Fashion Awards on June 7.
Iris Apfel
2012: With late Husband Carl Apfel at Bergdorf Goodman’s 111th Anniversary Celebration at the Plaza Hotel on October 18.
2013: At the Ralph Rucci Fall 2013 fashion show on February 10.
2014: Iris Apfel attends the “Iris” photo call during the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on October 9 in New York City.
Iris Apfel
2015: at Violet Grey’s ‘She’s So Violet’ garden tea honoring Iris on April 27.
2015: At Anna Sui’s Spring 2016 show during New York Fashion Week on September 16.
2016: At the 2016 Fashion Group International Night of Stars Gala at Cipriani Wall Street on October 27.
2021: At the ACE Awards at Cipriani 42nd street on November 02.
2021: Sitting for a portrait for her 100th birthday party at Central Park Tower on September 09.


The Last Fashion Bible is an interactive hub of fashion and lifestyle-related video content, featuring a mix of both international and local runway shows, editorials, interviews, how-tos and much more.

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