Fashion Legend Iris Apfel Dies at 102

Fashion Legend Iris Apfel Dies at 102


Iris Apfel, the iconic interior designer and fashion maverick, died on Friday at 102 years old. An instantly recognizable figure with her oversized glasses, Apfel embodied a rejection of fashion norms and a joyful embrace of individuality that resonated worldwide.


“I go at it full, I’m passionate about what I do,” she told CNN in 2018 interview. Her work ethic, zest for life, and love of vibrant accessories earned her the nickname “the geriatric starlet.”




Born in Queens in 1921, Apfel’s career spanned decades. With her husband Carl, she founded Old World Weavers, allowing them to travel the world collecting textiles for high-profile clients like Estée Lauder and Greta Garbo. She even redesigned the White House for nine presidents.


But it was the Met’s 2005 exhibition “Rara Avis” that rocketed her to global fame in her 80s. The public adored her eclectic personal style.  This led to collaborations with Kate Spade and MAC Cosmetics, and even a Barbie doll in her likeness.

Apfel’s philosophy was simple: “Only one trip. Might as well live it up.” A fitting motto for a true original.

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Ntianu Obiora is a versatile creative professional with over a decade of experience in publishing, marketing, communications, and digital strategy. She is the Online Editor at THEWILL DOWNTOWN

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