Mon. Jul 22nd, 2024
alert-–-iris-apfel-dead-at-102:-fashion-icon-and-self-proclaimed-‘geriatric-starlet’-passed-at-her-home-in-palm-beach,-floridaAlert – Iris Apfel dead at 102: Fashion icon and self-proclaimed ‘geriatric starlet’ passed at her home in Palm Beach, Florida

Iris Apfel, fashion icon and self-proclaimed ‘geriatric starlet’, has passed away at the age of 102.

The news was announced on her Instagram page on Friday, with a beautiful photo of the famous fashionista in a regal black and gold gown and wearing her signature black glasses. 

‘Iris Barrel Apfel, August 29, 1921 – March 1, 2024,’ read the caption on the post. 

A spokesman for her estate confirmed the news to the New York Times and revealed that she died in her Palm Beach, Florida, home.

The cause of death for the star — who was a New York style icon, known for her distinctive style — has not been provided at this time.

Iris Apfel, fashion icon and self-proclaimed 'geriatric starlet', has passed away at the age of 102. The news was announced on her Instagram page on Friday; seen in 2021

Iris Apfel, fashion icon and self-proclaimed ‘geriatric starlet’, has passed away at the age of 102. The news was announced on her Instagram page on Friday; seen in 2021

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'Iris Barrel Apfel, August 29, 1921 – March 1, 2024,' read the caption on the post

‘Iris Barrel Apfel, August 29, 1921 – March 1, 2024,’ read the caption on the post

Apfel’s signature style — chunky bracelets, layers of necklaces, plus those iconic heavy-framed glasses – helped propel her into late-in-life fashion icon, or a ‘geriatric starlet,’ as she frequently referred to herself.

She only came to worldwide attention in 2005 when the Metropolitan Museum of Art showed an exhibition focusing on her fashion sense titled Rara Avis (Rare Bird). 

She became a model at age 97, and modeled for Vogue Italia, Kate Spade and M.A.C.

She is also the oldest person to have had a Barbie doll made by Mattel in her image.

Following the news of her death, fans rushed to her social media page to pay their respects. 

Maria Shriver wrote: ‘Wow! What a truly remarkable life #IrisApfel lived. She truly did it all: She was a businesswoman, she was a fashion model, she was a fashion icon, she was a college professor, she was a star of a documentary, she was a Barbie doll! Iris is truly proof that age is just a number.’

Rocker Lenny Kravitz wrote: ‘You mastered the art of living. Thank you for your energy and inspiration.’

Actress Hannah Waddingham also paid tribute, writing: ‘Ohhhhhh. Goodnight and God bless Ma’am. What joy and endless style you brought to so many.’ 

A spokesman for her estate confirmed the news to the New York Times and revealed that she died in her Palm Beach, Florida, home; seen with Linda Fargo in 2013

A spokesman for her estate confirmed the news to the New York Times and revealed that she died in her Palm Beach, Florida, home; seen with Linda Fargo in 2013

The cause of death has not been provided at this time; seen in 2015

The cause of death has not been provided at this time; seen in 2015

Apfel's signature style — chunky bracelets, layers of necklaces, plus those iconic heavy-framed glasses – helped propel her into late-in-life fashion icon, or a 'geriatric starlet,' as she frequently referred to herself; seen with Christie Brinkley in 2022

Apfel’s signature style — chunky bracelets, layers of necklaces, plus those iconic heavy-framed glasses – helped propel her into late-in-life fashion icon, or a ‘geriatric starlet,’ as she frequently referred to herself; seen with Christie Brinkley in 2022

Apfel, who was a New York style icon for years, only came to worldwide attention in 2005 when the Metropolitan Museum of Art showed an exhibition focusing on her fashion sense titled Rara Avis (Rare Bird); seen with Christina Hendricks in 2016

Apfel, who was a New York style icon for years, only came to worldwide attention in 2005 when the Metropolitan Museum of Art showed an exhibition focusing on her fashion sense titled Rara Avis (Rare Bird); seen with Christina Hendricks in 2016

‘Thank you for sharing your beautiful life,’ designer Jenna Lyons added. 

‘RIP icon,’ one person wrote.

‘You will be missed,’ another added with a red-heart emoji.

‘An icon and true inspiration,’ yet another follower wrote.

‘Rest in beauty icon.’ 

Iris Apfel (born Iris Barrel) was born on August 29, 1921 in Astoria, Queens, New York City — the only child of Samuel Barrel and Russian-born wife, Sadye Barrel. 

She started her career as a copywriter for Women’s Wear Daily and interior designer Elinor Johnson.

In 1948, she married husband Carl Apfel, and the duo owned a textile firm until they retired 44 years later. 

Over the years the pair worked on many restoration projects, including at the White House.

Carl died at the age of 100 in 2015. 

Iris continued to have unbelievable enthusiasm for life, and at 90, she began teaching at the University of Texas at Austin.

At 94, she was the subject of a documentary by Albert Maysles, simply titled Iris.

In 2019, at 97-years-old, Iris landed a modeling contract with IMG - the same agency that has repped top stars like Gigi Hadid, Karlie Kloss, and Miranda Kerr; seen in 2016

In 2019, at 97-years-old, Iris landed a modeling contract with IMG – the same agency that has repped top stars like Gigi Hadid, Karlie Kloss, and Miranda Kerr; seen in 2016

She's faced campaigns for Kate Spade, MAC Cosmetics, Alexis Bittar, Macy's INC, Blue Illusion, HSN, Le Bon Marché, and the German brand Aigner; seen with Christina Ricci and Zosia Mamet

She’s faced campaigns for Kate Spade, MAC Cosmetics, Alexis Bittar, Macy’s INC, Blue Illusion, HSN, Le Bon Marché, and the German brand Aigner; seen with Christina Ricci and Zosia Mamet

She previously gave her opinion on style, telling Women's Wear Daily: 'I don't think style has any age. It's in your DNA and inherent. It's a matter of attitude'; seen with Katie Holmes in 2021

She previously gave her opinion on style, telling Women’s Wear Daily: ‘I don’t think style has any age. It’s in your DNA and inherent. It’s a matter of attitude’; seen with Katie Holmes in 2021

In 2019, at 97-years-old, Iris landed a modeling contract with IMG – the same agency that has repped top stars like Gigi Hadid, Karlie Kloss, and Miranda Kerr.

Even as she was pushing 100, Apfel showed no signs of slowing down, and told WWD she’s ‘very excited’ about her new deal.

Though the star drew the line at walking down the catwalk, telling the publication: ‘How can I compete on runway? That’s ridiculous,’ she said. 

‘We’ll be doing hopefully collaborations, or maybe I’ll be a spokesperson. I leave it to them. They know better than I.’

‘I’ve had all kinds of interesting commissions in my limited career. Everything from vodka and automobiles to beauty products, and I’ve also had a number of interesting collaborations with big stores like Bon Marché in Paris, the Landmark Mall in Hong Kong, Macy’s and Bergdorf Goodman.’

Over the past decade Apfel has modeled for a seriously impressive roster of big-name fashion and beauty brands.

She’s faced campaigns for Kate Spade, MAC Cosmetics, Alexis Bittar, Macy’s INC, Blue Illusion, HSN, Le Bon Marché, and the German brand Aigner.

In each one, she’s showed off a facet of her style, including her signature oversized round glasses.

She started her career as a copywriter for Women’s Wear Daily and interior designer Elinor Johnson; seen in a throwback Instagram photo

She started her career as a copywriter for Women’s Wear Daily and interior designer Elinor Johnson; seen in a throwback Instagram photo

In 1948, she married husband Carl Apfel, and the duo owned a textile firm until they retired 44 years later

In 1948, she married husband Carl Apfel, and the duo owned a textile firm until they retired 44 years later

Over the years the pair worked on many restoration projects, including at the White House; the pair seen in 2008

Over the years the pair worked on many restoration projects, including at the White House; the pair seen in 2008

Carl died at the age of 100 in 2015; seen in 2008

Carl died at the age of 100 in 2015; seen in 2008

For several, she’s posed right alongside models a quarter of her age, including Karlie, Toni Garnn, Tavi Gevinson, and Jourdan Dunn.

She previously gave her opinion on style, telling Women’s Wear Daily: ‘I don’t think style has any age. It’s in your DNA and inherent. It’s a matter of attitude.’ 

No one was as surprised by her late-in-life modeling career than Apfel herself. Though she’s had a long career in fashion, it was owning her own textile company, Old World Weavers, from 1950 that kept her in the fashion world.

‘I never expected my life would take this turn so I never prepared for it. It all just happened so suddenly, and I thought at my tender age, I’m not going to set up offices and get involved with all kinds of things,’ she said.

‘I thought it was a flash in the pan, and it’s not going to last. Somehow, people found me. People would just call. Tommy Hilfiger said that was no way to do it, and he put us together. I’m very excited and very grateful.’

In addition to modeling, she also designed her own clothing and accessories line for HSN and published a book in 2018.

‘My husband, until he passed on, we used to sit there and laugh and laugh, and I’d say I’m no different than I was 70 years ago, and all of a sudden, I’m cool, I’m a hot property. It’s ridiculous. People tell me it’s because I’m real… and say what I think,’ she added.

Following the news of her death, fans rushed to her social media page to pay their respects, including Maria Shriver

Following the news of her death, fans rushed to her social media page to pay their respects, including Maria Shriver 

Rocker Lenny Kravitz wrote: 'You mastered the art of living. Thank you for your energy and inspiration'

Rocker Lenny Kravitz wrote: ‘You mastered the art of living. Thank you for your energy and inspiration’

Actress Hannah Waddingham also paid tribute, writing: 'Ohhhhhh. Goodnight and God bless Ma'am. What joy and endless style you brought to so many'

Actress Hannah Waddingham also paid tribute, writing: ‘Ohhhhhh. Goodnight and God bless Ma’am. What joy and endless style you brought to so many’

'Thank you for sharing your beautiful life,' designer Jenna Lyons added

‘Thank you for sharing your beautiful life,’ designer Jenna Lyons added

In 2016 she gave some advice for young female entrepreneurs at the Women’s Entrepreneurship Day conference at the United Nations.

‘Taking opportunity and running is very important, because I never had a business plan in my life. Things just came along and I grabbed them,’ she told them.

‘I’m glad to see all these glass ceilings are being smashed and I know I feel that if women were a little more forceful and stuck to it there wouldn’t be so much of this feeling,’ she added.

‘I know when I started, the dinosaurs were roaming the Earth, I’m 95 and I’ve been working my whole life. It wasn’t easy but if you really want to do it, you can do it.’

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