Fashion Icon Iris Apfel dies at 102

 March 3, 2024

Iris Apfel, a fashion expert known for her unusual style, has died at 102. 

Apfel's passing was confirmed on her official Instagram page on Saturday, March 2, 2024. Her death occurred the day before at her home in Palm Beach, Florida.

The Instagram message was posted with a picture of Apfel, which was captioned, simply, "Iris Barrel Apfel August 29, 1921 - March 1, 2024.

Just the day before, Apfel had posted a message that read, "In half birthdays, I'm only 26!!! I'm 102 and a half today... Happy leap day!"

Who was Iris Apfel?

Apfel was a fashion designer. She, specifically, was a textile expert who also did interior design. She and her husband, Carl, owned Old World Weavers, a textile manufacturing company that specialized in restorative work.

Over the years, Apfel had numerous celebrity clients, which even included U.S. presidents. She, in fact, did work at the White House for six different presidents.

But, over and above all of this, Apfel was known for her own peculiar style.

"Born Aug. 29, 1921, Apfel was famous for her irreverent, eye-catching outfits, mixing haute couture and oversized costume jewelry. A classic Apfel look would, for instance, pair a feather boa with strands of chunky beads, bangles, and a jacket decorated with Native American beadwork," the Associated Press reports.

The outlet adds, "With her big, round, black-rimmed glasses, bright red lipstick, and short white hair, she stood out at every fashion show she attended. Her style was the subject of museum exhibits and a documentary film, Iris, directed by Albert Maysles."

"A visionary in every sense of the word"

Apfel's passing has also been confirmed by her agent, Lori Sale, who said that "working alongside [Apfel] was the honor of a lifetime."

Sale added, "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. Through those lenses, she saw the world as a kaleidoscope of color, a canvas of patterns and prints."

Sale further said that Apfel had an "insatiable desire to work" - that Apfel, every day, would call her and ask, "What have you got for me today?"

Apfel enjoyed a celebrity status all the way up to the end of her life. On Instagram, for example, she had nearly 3 million followers at the time of her death, and, on TikTok, she had over 200,000 followers.

On social media, Apfel would educate her followers on style. In one TikTok video, she said, "Being stylish and being fashionable are two entirely different things. You can easily buy your way into being fashionable. Style, I think is in your DNA. It implies originality and courage."

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