World’s Oldest Living Teen Iris Apfel Celebrates Her 100th Birthday

Published August 26th, 2021 - 10:03 GMT
Iris Apfel
Iris Apfel (Instagram)
For her 100th birthday, fashion icon Iris Apfel aims to celebrate bold fashion.
Nearing 100 Iris Apfel is a fashion powerhouse.

Iris Apfel had made an iconic mark for herself in the elite fashion realm. 

For fans of bold fashion, Apfel’s 100th birthday year is proving to be a banger — which is just as she designed it. Raise a glass!

‘I’m told that the sunsets from 100 stories up are spectacular.’

Iris is one of the most iconic glasses lovers of all time, most known around the world for her bold look and oversized frames.


A post shared by Iris Apfel (@iris.apfel)

Iris Apfel is an American businesswoman, interior designer, and fashion icon. In business from 1950 to 1992, Apfel had a career in textiles, including a contract with the White House that spanned nine presidencies.


A post shared by Iris Apfel (@iris.apfel)

In retirement, she drew acclaim for a 2005 show at the Costume Institute at The Metropolitan Museum of Art featuring her collection of costume jewelry and styled with clothes on mannequins as she would wear it. 

As she honed a knack for acquiring unusual artifacts, Apfel gained notoriety thanks to her equally unconventional dress sense. She wore jeans before they were deemed acceptable, had garments custom-made from non-Western materials. Mixing haute couture with bazaar bits and bobs, she approached dressing with joyful irreverence. 

“I think it’s very important to just be yourself, and not try to look like everybody else,” she says. 

She is well known for her signature glasses, bold colors, and oversize jewelry. Apfel started her career as an interior designer when the Cold War was in its infancy. A lifelong acquirer of couture clothes and costume jewelry gathered from her travels around the world.

“An outfit isn’t complete without a signature accessory, or many, to show off your individuality. Mine are glasses — the bigger and brighter, the better,” Apfel says.

On the encouragement of designer Tommy Hilfiger, she also briefly signed with a model agent at age 97. All of this in the past 15 years. 

In addition to her exhibits and collections, Iris is a visiting professor at the University of Texas, Austin. Recently at the United Nations’ New York Headquarters, she was awarded the Women Together Special Award at the 12th Annual Women Together Gala. Iris splits her time between NYC and Palm Beach.

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