Fashion never gets old…

Iris Apfel is one 97-year-old who’s probably cooler than any of us will ever be. She’s a fashion icon who loves clothing, cars, and interior design. And now, a major model for IMG.

Iris Apfel has a life-long story of love and dedication to everything style.

She was born in Queens, New York, where she grew up as an only child. Iris was exposed to clothing and fashion at a very young age in her mother’s fashion boutique. She started exploring her own sense of color, pattern, and texture using scraps of cloth she found at her grandparents’ house.

This passion for cloth would last a lifetime. Iris’ early career consisted of working for Women’s Wear Daily, a fashion magazine, as well as a prominent interior design firm. Her unique sense of style, blending high and low fashion sense, and her witty, vibrant personality helped her become a big player in the worlds of interior design, textiles, and fashion. In 1950, Iris and her husband started a textile company called Old World Weavers, which they ran until retirement in 1992.

During that time, she worked for nine different presidents at the White House, and earned the nickname “First Lady of Fabric.” She and her husband also traveled all over the world searching for unique fabrics and new styles.

“I never think about my age. Maybe that’s the ticket. I never think about it. It’s just a passing thought. It’s just a number. I’ve found that work is very healthy for me. I love what I do, and I put my heart and soul into it.” – Iris Apfel

In 2005, Iris had her exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. At the age of 90, she developed her own limited-edition cosmetics collection. In 2011,  “Rara Avis,” a line of large, colorful jewelry on the Home Shopping Network. She even had a documentary about her life “Iris” released in 2014 and had a nomination for an Emmy in 2017.

Now at 97, she continues to influence fashion with her new modeling contract with IMG. Her larger-than-life style is one of a kind making her name solidified her name in fashion history. Not to mention Iris has appeared in commercials for Citroën DS 3 car in France and the U.K., is the face of Blue Illusion, in Australia, and has a line of Mattel’s Barbie dolls since 2018.

She embraces the fact that she is older. “I never think about my age. Maybe that’s the ticket… It’s just a number… I love what I do, and I put my heart and soul into it.”

Iris’s is an inspiring look into how seniors can stay engaged in their passions no matter what their age.

Photo Credit: Gabriel de la Chapelle

#BestWithAge A Blog Series About How the Human Spirit Shines Brightest with Time