Iris Apfel, born on August 29, 1921, in Queens, New York, was an emblematic figure in the world of fashion and interior design. Known for her eclectic style and vibrant personality, Iris became an inspiration for future generations. Her passing on March 1, 2024, at the age of 102, has left a void in the hearts of many admirers and fashion enthusiasts.

Raised in a family of entrepreneurs, Iris developed an interest in fashion and art from a young age. She studied history at New York University and attended the art academy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. During these years, she began working as a contributor for Women’s Wear Daily magazine and as an assistant to the illustrator Robert Goodman.

iris apfel ritrattoIn 1948, Iris married Carl Apfel, and together they founded Old World Weavers, a company specializing in the reproduction of antique fabrics. Their collaboration extended beyond that venture into the world of interior design, where Iris stood out for her unique talent in combining colors, textures, and antique objects.

Iris Apfel had the honor of working as an Interior Designer for the White House, serving nine American presidents, from Truman to Clinton. Her restoration work and interior design highlighted aspects of elegance and an extraordinary attention to detail.

Iris’s motto, “More is More & Less is a Bore,” reflects her style philosophy that encourages expressiveness and individuality. Known for her bold accessories like round and oversized sunglasses, Iris has shown that fashion is ageless and that style is a timeless form of communication.

Even after retiring from her professional career in 1992, Iris continued to be an influential figure in the fashion world. Her collection of jewelry and accessories was exhibited at the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and her life became the subject of a documentary by director Albert Maysles.

iris apfel collezioneIris Apfel’s jewelry collection, as distinctive as her personality, was created in collaboration with the renowned French porcelain manufacturer Michel Bernardaud. The collection, named “Be Bold Over,” features bold and colorful pieces made of Limoges porcelain, ranging from sleek necklaces with discs to eclectic owl brooches.

One of the notable pieces in the collection is a necklace named “Adam,” made with porcelain pieces linked together to form the silhouette of a man’s body. Iris expressed a particular affinity for this piece, describing it as whimsical and well-designed. The creative work “Be Bold Over” is characterized by a variety of pieces, including choker necklaces, earrings, pendants, collars, rings, and brooches, all made with the same attention to detail and originality that distinguished Iris Apfel’s life and style.

Iris began selecting jewelry at the age of 11, and her personal collection is a treasure trove of artisanal pieces collected during her travels, infusing a breath of fresh air into New York’s high society. Each piece tells a story that represents a fragment of her life philosophy and artistic approach.

Iris Apfel lived an extraordinary life marked by creativity, passion, and incredible energy. Her legacy lives on through her works, and her distinctive style has inspired many fashion industry professionals and will continue to inspire many more in the future. Iris Apfel was not just an icon of maximalist fashion; she was a symbol of a life lived boldly, colorfully, and with a genuine sense of self.

 

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