Iris Apfel Turns 102

It’s sometimes hard to get a perspective on just how long we have been designing latex couture. From living and studying in Japan, through rendering bespoke outfits and filling our catalog, to working as much on private commissions as first creeping into than establishing our presence in mainstream commercials, movie, streaming shows, and music video work, it has been a wonderful, and yes, strange trip. But in the great grand scheme of the passing of years, can we even hold a candle to someone like designer Iris Apfel?

Celebrating her 102nd birthday yesterday (yes, 102!), the New York-based designer had dinner in The Hamptons with, among others, Christie Brinkley and designer Donna Karan. Brinkley, as well as Apfel, posted pics ad video on Instagram, with Apfel in her posting sporting her signature sartorial style, wearing a fuzzy jacket and her trademark, big black glasses.

Apfel entered the fashion firmament writing for Women’s Wear Daily, working for interior designer Elinor Johnson and as an assistant to illustrator Robert Goodman. At just the beginning of the 1950s, Apfel and her husband Carl (whom she married in 1948) founded the textile company Old World Weares, which they worked for decades. Her professional accolades include producing fabrics for nine White House administrations and becoming a sure fashion icon. 

(It’s so nice to be able to write out someone’s bio when they are still alive!)

In 2005 (at only 84!), Apfel became even more known when the Metropolitan Museum of Art displayed pieces from her archives. Debuting her new clothing line, Blue Illusions, a mere seven years ago, she also signed as a model with IMG in 2019, released a coloring book during COVID-19, partnered with the UK’s brand Ciate’ London, was featured in the documentary “Iris,” and launched the Iris Apfel x H&M collection just last year.

There really doesn’t seem to be any slowing down for this inspirational centenarian. And we wish Iris Apfel many more productive years.

Now, we all need to get working!

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