Iris Apfel: Celebrities Pay Tribute to the Late Fashion Icon

Connie Queline

Iris Apfel: Celebrities Pay Tribute to the Late Fashion Icon

Style icon Iris Apfel has died at 102 years old.

The news was announced on Instagram on March 1 on Apfel’s official Instagram page. “Iris Barrel Apfel. August 29, 1921 – March 1, 2024,” the photo caption read. The picture featured Apfel in a billowing black dress with glittering gold details, a large statement collar, and a pair of her signature round glasses. This particular pair featured unique 100-shaped frames.

“Iris Apfel was extraordinary, working alongside her was the honor of a lifetime,’” Apfel’s agent Lori Sale said in a statement, per the Associated Press. ‘I will miss her daily calls, always greeted with the familiar question: ’What have you got for me today?’ Testament to her insatiable desire to work. 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.’

Apfel founded the international textile manufacturing company Old World Weavers in 1950 with her late husband, Carl Apfel. She later caught the eye of the fashion world for her bold style and bolder personality, well-known for mixing larger-than-life silhouettes with even bigger baubles. She was rarely seen without a pair of round glasses or a red lip. In 2005, her sense of style was celebrated by the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute in a show titled “Rara Avis,” which is Latin for “rare bird.”

“More is more & less is a bore,” read the bio of her Instagram account, which is currently followed by three million users. After her death, celebrities in-and-outside of the fashion world celebrated the late icon on social media. Here’s what designers, Hollywood stars, and editors had to say about Iris Apfel’s legacy.

Tommy Hilfiger

“My wife Dee and I were incredibly blessed to have met and spent time with Iris in the last few years both in Palm Beach and in New York,” the American designer said in a statement to Women’s Wear Daily. She was an absolute inspiration and had impeccable style as well as a great appetite and appreciation for everything fashion. She had an incredible presence and aura and always held court wherever she was. We were also honored to participate with her in her mentoring programs she headed for many years with fashion students from the University of Texas. She will be greatly missed, and it is a huge loss for the entire fashion community.”

Tommy Hilfiger attended Iris Apfel’s 100th Birthday Party at Central Park Tower on September 09, 2021.

Patrick McMullan/Getty Images

Lily Collins

“What a woman. What a legend. What a life,” Lily Collins wrote in an Instagram Story. “I had the pleasure of wearing her designs on Emily in Paris and honor of being able to express my admiration for her influence. Your style will live on Iris Apfel and your legacy forever celebrated.”


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