American Fashion Icon Iris Apfel Passes Away at 102

American Fashion Icon Iris Apfel Passes Away at 102

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Renowned American designer and fashion luminary, Iris Apfel, has passed away at the remarkable age of 102.

Her death was announced to her nearly three million followers on Instagram, accompanied by a photo of Apfel adorned in her signature oversized round glasses.

Hailing from the New York borough of Queens, Apfel became instantly recognizable for her distinctive oversized owlish glasses.

Throughout her illustrious career, Apfel co-founded the international textile manufacturing company Old World Weavers in 1950 alongside her husband Carl, who himself lived to the age of 100 before passing away in 2015.

Often referred to as a “geriatric starlet,” Apfel achieved widespread fame in her later years, particularly in her 80s and 90s.

At the age of 97, Apfel made headlines by signing a modeling contract with the prestigious global agency IMG Models, sharing representation with renowned figures like Gigi Hadid and Karlie Kloss.

Tributes poured in from across the fashion and entertainment industry, with notable figures like US designer Tommy Hilfiger praising Apfel as an “innovator and leader” in the world of textiles and style.

US singer Lenny Kravitz and Ted Lasso actress Hannah Waddingham also paid homage to Apfel’s impactful legacy.

Known for her flamboyant interior design style, Apfel was a fixture at the front rows of Paris fashion shows for over half a century. Her cropped white hair, oversized glasses, vibrant lipstick, and statement necklaces made her a distinctive figure among New York’s elite.

Apfel’s Park Avenue apartment, spanning two floors, was a treasure trove of work by renowned 20th-century designers, collected over her extraordinary lifetime.

In 2005, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York honored Apfel with the first major retrospective of her wardrobe, showcasing her eclectic and adventurous sense of style.

Ever the advocate for individuality, Apfel encouraged young women to embrace their uniqueness, urging them to “dare to be different” and reassuring them that the “style police” wouldn’t come knocking if their fashion choices didn’t conform to the norm.

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