Fashion icon and ‘geriatric starlet’ Iris Apfel dies aged 102

American interior designer and fashion icon Iris Apfel has died at the age of 102.

The self-proclaimed “geriatric starlet” worked for decades in the textile industry before she soared to fame as an octogenarian with recognition of her eccentric design sense.

Apfel’s iris-apfel-baddiewinkie-why-older-women-it-girls-fashion-nyfw-celine-saint-laurent-marc-jacobs-models-campaigns-a7549076.html” data-ylk=”slk:signature look;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas” class=”link rapid-noclick-resp”signature look was characterised by her oversized glasses, layers of chunky jewellery and colourful and eclectic clothing, with her bob-cut white hair.

The death of the “extraordinary” Apfel was confirmed by her commercial agent, Lori Sale, who did not provide a cause of death. It is believed she died at her home in Palm Beach, Florida.

The news came on her verified Instagram page on Friday, which a day earlier had celebrated that Leap Day represented her 102nd-and-a-half birthday.

Iris Apfel has died at the age of 102 (Getty Images for Central Park To)Iris Apfel has died at the age of 102 (Getty Images for Central Park To)

Iris Apfel has died at the age of 102 (Getty Images for Central Park To)

Born on 29 August 1921 to a Jewish family in New York, Apfel began by studying the history of art and specialised in interior design, becoming an expert on textiles and antique fabrics.

She and her husband Carl Apfel owned a textile manufacturing company, Old World Weavers, and specialised in restoration work, including projects at the White House under six different US presidents. Apfel‘s celebrity clients included Estee Lauder and Greta Garbo.

Iris Apfel attends the Joanna Mastroianni Fall 2013 fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at The Studio at Lincoln Center on 10 February 2013 (Joe Kohen/Getty Images for Joanna Mastroianni))Iris Apfel attends the Joanna Mastroianni Fall 2013 fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at The Studio at Lincoln Center on 10 February 2013 (Joe Kohen/Getty Images for Joanna Mastroianni))

Iris Apfel attends the Joanna Mastroianni Fall 2013 fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at The Studio at Lincoln Center on 10 February 2013 (Joe Kohen/Getty Images for Joanna Mastroianni))

Apfel’s public profile skyrocketed in 2005 when the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute in New York City curated a show dedicated to her, titled Rara Avis, which means “rare bird” in Latin.

The museum celebrated her style, describing it as “both witty and exuberantly idiosyncratic”. It happened out of sheer luck as the museum

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