Who Was Iris Apfel? Exploring The Centenarian Style Icon's Life And Career As She Passes Away At 102

Iris Apfel, the centenarian-style icon from the Queens neighborhood of New York passed away at the age of 102.

Published on Mar 02, 2024  |  01:45 PM IST |  75K
(Image Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons)
Image Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
Key Highlight
  • Style Icon, Iris Apfel unexpectedly died on March 1, 2024
  • Iris Apfe was an American businesswoman, interior designer, fashion icon and actress

TRIGGER WARNING: This article contains references to an individual's death.

The octogenarian interior designer and fashion tastemaker Iris Apfel passed away at the age of 102. According to The Guardian, she passed away in her Palm Beach home on Friday.

Iris Aphel- A Visionary Designer

Apfel’s agent Lori Sale confirmed her death on Friday and said: “Working alongside her was the honor of a lifetime. She was a visionary in every sense of the word. She saw the world through a unique lens – one adorned with giant, distinctive spectacles that sat atop her nose."

Iris Apfel, a New York socialite and interior designer, shook up the fashion world in her later years with a unique blend of haute couture and vintage hippie style, sourced from flea markets. She thrived on paradoxes - let's dive into her fascinating life and career!


Who Was Iris Apfel? 

Early Life

Iris Barrel was born on August 29, 1921, in Astoria, Queens, in the United States. She attended the University of Wisconsin's art school and New York University's art history program. Apfel began her career as a young lady copywriting for Women's Wear Daily and interior designer Elinor Johnson, where she dressed apartments for sale and honed her talent for sourcing rare items.

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Career Trajectory

To restore items like furniture and drapes, Apfel and her husband Carl founded Old World Weavers, a textile firm. The company specialized in restoring works created between the 17th and 19th centuries, and its clientele included many well-known figures.

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In addition to her work with Old World Weavers, she became famous for her wardrobe and accessory collections, which were subsequently shown in a Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibition. Her career in the fashion industry took off after the presentation, and she was invited to become a visiting lecturer at the University of Texas.


She signed a modeling contract with international agency IMG in 2019 at the age of 97. Tommy Hilfiger pushed her to sign with professional representation after noticing that she was regularly approached for appearances. Following its 1992 sale, Iris Apfel worked as a consultant for Old World Weavers. She co-founded an eyewear collection with Zenni Optical in 2021.

Unknown fact

Apfel was the oldest individual to ever be immortalized in Barbie form when Mattel bestowed upon her the highest honor in 2018.

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Know more about Iris Apfel

What was Iris Apfel's net worth?
According to Celebrity Net Worth, Iris Apfel's net worth is $25 million.

Who was Iris Apfel's husband?
Iris Apfel was married to Carl Apfel in 1948.

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A content writer with a Bachelor's Degree in Mass Media and two years of experience in Content Writing.

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