Iris Apfel: the perennial icon in the world of fashion and color

An unusual name in the world of fashion, Iris Apfel was an icon in her own right, and was known as one of the most famous female connoisseurs around the world. She is an icon of museums and documentaries, and was even involved in a campaign for MAC Cosmetics. Iris entered her tenth decade a few days ago, and she is still on the throne of elegance and fashion. Who is this influencer? How was she started? What is the secret of her great love for fashion, and what is the secret of the fashion people’s fondness for her? Here is a detailed report on it.

Accessories and memorabilia that Iris Abbeville hung on the wall

With colorful and interesting glasses, this New Yorker was often a rare exception in the fashion world. All this charm and global influence is largely due to the wit, flair and intellect of Abbeville, who described herself as “the world’s oldest living teenager”.

A passion from childhood

Iris in a 70’s dress in front of a wide variety of her shoes

Iris Barrel Apfel was born in 1921 in Queens, New York, the daughter of two farmers. At the age of 12, Abbeville took a train to Manhattan to shop at the local antique store. “Back then you could ride the whole subway for a nickel, so every week I went to a different area of ​​New York, like Chinatown, Yorkville, Harlem and Greenwich Village that I really fell in love with,” she says. The village was where I started wandering around the antique shops, and I became fascinated by all these old things.” It was during this period that her large jewelry collection began to appear. Abbeville studied art history at New York University and attended the University of Wisconsin School of Art. As a young woman, she worked for Women’s Wear Daily, alongside interior designer Elinor Johnson, and also as an assistant to painter Robert Goodman.

The founding of a textile company

Iris and her husband, Carl Abfel

In the late 1940s, Iris Barrel met her husband, Karl Apfel. The two founded a textile company called Old World Weavers that specializes in recreating vintage textiles, secured a contract with the White House and went on to work with nine different presidents. There Abbeville received the title of “First Lady of the Cloth” or “Lady of the Cloth”.

Abbeville and her husband also traveled the world in search of unique textiles, exquisite clothing and unique home furnishings to meet the requirements of his Abbeville side business as an interior designer.

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wide fame

Iris Apfel Collaborations

In 2005, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York held an exhibition about Iris Abbeville, and Carla Fendi, Giorgio Armani and Karl Lagerfeld were counted among the participants. The museum displayed Abbeville’s jewelry, her legendary fairy outfit and striking glasses.

Written about her eclectic style, she is said to be Native American in the truest sense, and is considered one of the most vibrant personalities in the world of fashion, textiles and interior design, and over the last forty years she has had a personal style cherished. it is both intelligent and hyperpersonal. This show put Abbeville on the map for everyone outside of New York fashion circles. She then rose to fame with a 2015 documentary called Iris, which shows Abbeville and her husband’s life and relationship with fashion. In addition, Abbeville has graced the pages and covers of the most important international magazines, so that in January 2019 it was represented by IMG, the world leader in the discovery and management of fashion models.

Fashion runs in her veins

As an icon in the world of fashion and jewelry, Iris Apfel has worn the most important international brands, such as Chanel, Dior, Prada, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and of course we cannot forget her recent collaboration with H&M and many more. Iris also has a great passion for jewelry and accessories, and her collections have become the focus of everyone’s attention, and have even been displayed in several museums.

She says that she doesn’t know where her inspiration comes from, she improvises.. but she has great curiosity, and likes to try new things. And do what you feel is right.

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an example

Iris Apfel Collaborations

The Apfel trademark outfit, round glasses with jewels and printed clothes, made her an iconic figure in the fashion industry. It also became her go-to look for Halloween costumes and costume parties. And her style tips have been posted all over the blogosphere. And in 2018, Mattel made a Barbie version of Apfel. She then signed a modeling contract with IMG in 2019, encouraged by Tommy Hilfiger. Apfel has since been featured in numerous advertising campaigns and brand partnerships. Last year, five days before her 100th birthday, she released the Iris Apfel Zentennial with Zenni Optical. The capsule collection is a set of glasses, and five different frames that reflect the Apfel personal accessories philosophy.


As an icon in the world of fashion and accessories and with her own unique style, the role hastened to establish several collaborations with Iris Apfel. Notable among them is her collaboration with luxury bag label Judith Leiber, who decided to design a capsule collection inspired by her. The Teddy Bear Clutch Bag in the shape of a baby bear, with its crystal-encrusted patterns in homage to her travels, drew us in deeply. The most striking detail, however, is the glasses, which mimic those bearing her signature.

Another notable collaboration with Iris is her recent collaboration with H&M, which combined the signature Abbeville touch and the moderate budget of H&M pieces, as the fan prices started at $30. This collection included a bouquet of beautiful creations such as fashion, accessories, swimwear, eyewear and more…

Obsessed with the world of eyewear, Zenni, the eyewear designer, created a special collaboration with Abbeville and created a distinctive collection of eye-catching designs with modern style and beautiful colors. Mattel also collaborated with Iris, creating a version of the Barbie doll in the shape of an age-old fashion icon. This doll looks modern like Mrs. Abbeville, dressed in a floral patterned suit, accompanied by signature accessories. Of course, the company did not forget to add glasses to this doll, which is the identity of the star.

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