Iris Apfel turns 100 – This old lady has an eye for style and culture


“Rare bird” is her nickname. “Weird Bird” would be better off. American fashion icon Iris Apfel celebrates her 100th birthday on Sunday.

The huge, round glasses that Iris Apfel always wears actually give her face something bird-like. They have become their trademark.

As a child she was fascinated by glasses, she once said, and started collecting them. When she needed glasses, it was clear to her that they had to be tall.


Nothing escapes your eyes: Iris Apfel at New York Fashion Week 2016.

Getty Images / Michael Stewart

Mix of patterns and materials

Whoever asks her why she needs such large glasses, the elderly answers like the wolf from “Little Red Riding Hood”: She needs the large glasses so that she can see her counterpart better. She still has the perspective. For years.

Unlike the wolf from the aforementioned fairy tale, she constantly changes her clothing, but never her identity. Her wild mix of textiles, patterns and materials from different eras has shaped her style for 40 years.

She worked in the White House

Iris Apfel was born as Iris Barrel in Brooklyn in a Jewish family. The girl, who is interested in beautiful things, is studying art history as a young woman.


They were also a couple on business: Iris Apfel with husband Carl Apfel.

Getty Images / Michael Loccisano

Together with her husband Carl, with whom she was married until his death at the age of almost 101, she founded a textile company. Time and again she worked as an interior designer, including for various presidents in the White House.

Exhibition in New York

Her outfits and accessories even made it to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in 2005. The exhibition was called “Rara Avis”, Latin for rare bird. Three years ago, at the tender age of 97, she got her first modeling contract.

She is still as fit as a sneaker, like a shimmering sneaker. It goes without saying that she’s always being asked what actually defines style. Style is attitude, nothing but attitude. not was you do, but how you do it, says Iris Apfel to the “New York Times”.

Style beats beauty

She learned at a young age that it was all about it. When she visited a New York department store that was trendy at the time, she approached the owner: She may not have any beauty, but something much better: style.

Iris Apfel has something else as well: an extraordinary mixture of nonchalance and self-confidence. In other words: she doesn’t care what others think of her. Which brings us back to the weird bird.

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