Legendary Style Icon Iris Apfel’s Jaw-Dropping Secrets Revealed: From $12.95 Dresses to Global Fame – You Won’t Believe Her Incredible Journey at 102!

Adorned with oversized black-rimmed glasses, Iris Apfel, a nonconformist with a century-long legacy, confidently shaped her unique style that defied conventions.

On Friday, Apfel passed away at the age of 102, as announced on her verified Instagram page. The iconic interior designer, residing in Palm Beach, Florida, had an affinity for bold accessories, jazz, and a relentless pursuit of opportunities, ranging from esteemed art exhibitions to gracing magazine covers. Her diverse portfolio included a cosmetic line, a documentary, a modeling contract, and even a Barbie doll crafted in her likeness.

Legendary Style Icon Iris Apfel's Jaw-Dropping Secrets Revealed: From $12.95 Dresses to Global Fame – You Won't Believe Her Incredible Journey at 102!

In a 2018 interview with CNN, Apfel shared her passionate approach to life: “I go at it full, I’m very passionate about what I do. I put my heart and soul into things, and it feeds me. I push myself until I can’t anymore and then come back again for more. I’m a glutton for punishment.”

Born Iris Barrel in Queens, New York, in 1921, she was the sole child of Jewish parents Samuel and Sadye Barrel. A self-proclaimed black-belt shopper, Apfel’s early bargain-hunting years during the Depression era shaped her identity as a collector and hoarder. She fondly recalled buying her first dress for Easter at the age of 11, using $25 from her mother, including a $12.95 dress, matching shoes, hat, and a 10-cent round trip train fare.

In 1948, Apfel married Carl Apfel, and together they founded Old World Weavers, a business that combined their love for fabrics and travel. The couple sourced vintage textiles globally, catering to clients like Estée Lauder, Greta Garbo, and nine U.S. presidents. Apfel continued working well into her later years, resisting the notion of retirement, which she deemed “a fate worse than death.”

Her lasting impact extended to a 2005 exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, showcasing her extensive accessory collection. Even in her 90s, Apfel collaborated with brands like Kate Spade and MAC Cosmetics, designed her own line for the Home Shopping Network, and, remarkably, secured a modeling contract with IMG at the age of 97.

Despite her digital presence with 2.9 million Instagram followers, Apfel maintained a disdain for social media. Her remarkable journey embodied a relentless pursuit of creativity, a testament to her vibrant spirit that left an indelible mark on the worlds of fashion and design.

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