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“Here’s to strong women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them.” – Unknown
Full Name: Iris Apfel née Barrel
D.O.B: August 29th 1921
Business Woman, Interior Designer, Fashion Icon
Bio in more depth: Good ole Reliable Wiki….
14 Fun Facts about Iris Apfel
- Iris was born in Astoria, Queens, New York to Jewish parents. Her father owned a glass and mirror business while her mother owned a fashion boutique. “My father was really quite a master, He did exquisite mirror-work, and he worked for a lot of great interior designers, so he really put the bug of interior design in my head. And my mother was very chic, and very accessory-conscious. I always say that my mother worshipped at the altar of the accessory. She taught me how transformative accessories are – how they can take the same simple, unadorned outfit from the office in the morning to a cocktail party at night.”
- As a child she said she was fat. When clothes shopping with her mother she would be asked by the sales girls “Why don’t you be slim like your mother?”
- Her working career started in interior designs and design restorations.
- In her early years she was quite popular with the boys but Carl persevered. “I was very busy and the first date I could give him was about six weeks later on Columbus Day. Thanksgiving he proposed, Christmas I got my ring, Washington’s birthday we married and our honeymoon was over on St Patrick’s Day.”
- Iris and her husband Carl opened their own business in 1950 called Old World Weavers
- Together they travelled the world and started picking up items and her famous flamboyant clothes.
- Old World Weavers has worked for 9 presidents in the White House.
- Carl and Iris were married for 67 years. Carl passed away in 2015 and when Iris was asked what her secret to marriage was she said “sense of humour and giving each other some space.”
- “I didn’t have children, but I never wanted children. You can’t have everything and I knew I wanted a career…”
- Iris has the motto of living with no rules, because if she did she’d “be breaking them all the time”
- It wasn’t till later in life that Iris found fame, 83 years young. In 2005 the MET showcased Rara Avis: Selections from the Iris Apfel Collection and this lead to her becoming a household name. Previously she was only well-known in her industry.
- Iris’s wardrobe is a mix of haute couture, flea-market finds, furs and tribal trimmings. Roberta Smith says about it, “Before multiculturalism was a word, Mrs Apfel was wearing it.”
- Iris describes herself as “the world’s oldest living teenager”.
- “I never felt pretty, I don’t feel pretty now; I’m not a pretty person. I don’t like pretty, so I don’t feel badly. And I think it worked out well, because… when you’re somebody like myself, in order to get around and be attractive, you have to develop something, you have to learn something, and have to do something, so you become a bit more interesting. And when you get older, you get by on that. Anyway, I don’t happen to like pretty. Most of the world is not with me, but I don’t care.”
13 of My Fave Quotes By Iris
“I’m not pretty, and I’ll never be pretty, but it doesn’t matter. I have something much better. I have style.”
“To me, the worst fashion faux pas is to look in the mirror, and not see yourself.”
“You have to look in the mirror and see yourself. If it feels good, then I know it’s for me. I don’t dress to be stared at, I dress for myself.”
“I want to make something clear, Fashion is not my trade and it’s not my life. I don’t live to get dressed. I think getting dressed is wonderful and I love it, but there’s a whole big world outside of the closet.”
“I absolutely consider fashion a form of art. Of course, there is some fashion that is not art at all – it’s utilitarian, made for the purpose of covering up. And there are a lot of people out there who put a lot of effort into looking awful. But there are also people putting the same amount of energy into making bad art. It’s not what you do, it’s the way that you do it.”
“Just because you get to a certain number doesn’t mean you have to roll up into a ball and wait for the grim reaper, We were put on this earth to do something! If you stop using your brain, at any age, it is going to stop working. It’s like if you stop using your hand, it will atrophy. I think doing nothing is a curse.”
“The advertising is disgusting. Cosmetics companies, in their ads, use 16-year-old models with flawless skin, then they retouch them until they look unhuman. Who can look like that? And if you have a little bit of confidence and half a brain, you shouldn’t be upset by this, but people are. American women are really psychopathic about the way they look – and it’s becoming the same way in Europe, so I’m told – and it’s pitiful and very sad. I mean, relax, have fun! You can look beautiful at any age, but you have to be intelligent enough to know that if you’re 90 and you go and get your face carved up, no one is going to think you’re 25. Trying to look like a spring chicken when you’re not makes you look ridiculous. I think it was Chanel who said, ‘Nothing makes a woman look so old as trying desperately hard to look young.’”
“You can’t learn style. I think it’s in you DNA”
“When you don’t dress like everybody else, you don’t have to think like everybody else.”
‘I love London and Paris; they’re very sophisticated, but not like New York. If you can’t find it in New York, it doesn’t exist.’
“Fortunately, I’m not a minimalist, as I’m sure you’ve noticed. I have a couple of storage spaces. I still buy small things that appeal to me and I still collect jewelry with a vengeance.”
“I found [my signature glasses] at a flea market and I started to wear them when I needed to wear glasses! As a matter of fact, I liked them so much—the great big ones—sometimes I’d wear them without any lenses, just as an accessory, as I thought they were so fantastic.”
“I don’t have special places to shop, as you never know what you’re going to find—I always tried to keep an open mind. I could find a treasure in a junk shop or junk in a very elegant emporium.”
Another week and another crush!
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