Iris Apfel, eccentric fashion icon and textile expert, dies at 102

Beth J. Harpaz

NEW YORK — Iris Apfel, a textile expert, interior designer and fashion celebrity known for her eccentric style, has died. She was 102.

Her death was confirmed Friday by her commercial agent, Lori Sale, who called Apfel “extraordinary.” No cause of death was given. It was also announced on her verified Instagram account on Friday, which a day earlier had celebrated that Leap Day represented the 102 year old’s half birthday.

Born Aug. 29, 1921, Apfel was famous for her irreverent, eye-catching outfits, mixing haute couture and oversized costume jewelry. A classic Apfel look would, for instance, pair a feather boa with strands of chunky beads, bangles and a jacket decorated with Native American beadwork.

With her big, round, black-rimmed glasses, bright red lipstick and short white hair, she stood out at every fashion show she attended.

Her style was the subject of museum exhibits and a 2014 documentary film, “Iris,” directed by Albert Maysles.

“I’m not pretty, and I’ll never be pretty, but it doesn’t matter,” she once said. “I have something much better. I have style.”

Apfel enjoyed late-in-life fame on social media, amassing nearly 3 million followers on Instagram, where her profile declares: “More is more & Less is a Bore.” On TikTok, she drew 215,000 followers as she waxed wise on things fashion and style and promoted recent collaborations.

“Being stylish and being fashionable are two entirely different things,” she said in one TikTok video. “You can easily buy your way into being fashionable. Style, I think, is in your DNA. It implies originality and courage.”

Iris Apfel, known for her irreverant, eye-catching outfits, has died at 102, her representative said March 1.

Iris Apfel found retirement to be ‘a fate worse than death’

She never retired, telling “Today”: “I think retiring at any age is a fate worse than death. Just because a number comes up doesn’t mean

Read the rest