Iris Apfel – Fashion Icon


I’ve seen many images of Iris Apfel over the years, most notably the ads from Old Navy that came out years ago. The quirky lady with the big, round, black glasses but I really didn’t know who she was. I continued to see her in many ads and magazines and was taken with her unique sense of style and strong confidence.

I was thrilled to come across the film “Iris”, a documentary by the late Albert Maysles on Netflix. A wonderfully done film that showcases this 94 year old fashion icon in all her glory.


It’s available on Netflix right now so I’d save it to “my list” before they take it off. I was fascinated not only by her amazing collection of clothes and jewelry but by her home and the lovely relationship she’s had with her husband Carl, who sadly died at age 100 this past August.


The adorable Carl and Iris Apfel

Carl and Iris married in 1948 and decided not to have children early on, but to focus on careers. It is clear in the movie that they shared a deep love and mutual joy in sharing their life together. I don’t want to give too much away but it is really touching to see a couple who are so dedicated to each other and still so in love.

Their home was a reflection of the way they lived their lives: full of adventure, joy and a sense of whimsy. They loved Christmas and kept decorations up long past the holiday. She saved everything and had many collections through out her New York apartment but somehow managed to make it all seem right and cool.


Iris and Carl loved silly, whimsical little items like this ceramic dog that is holding some of Iris’ large, chunky jewelry that she is famous for.


When asked about her strong sense of style, Iris said that there is no formula, she just did what she wanted. She wanted to be happy. She also said you need a certain amount of strength and the courage of your own convictions.


Iris wearing chunky jewelry and in the background her sweet Carl, whom she always dressed. Check out his wild pants!





Never seeming to be at a loss for words, here are some wonderful quotes from Iris…



Iris calls herself a “geriatric starlet”. She speaks about aging in the film and is refreshingly honest. She shares wisdom that can only come from living on this planet for as long as she has.  She’s forthright in saying aging isn’t fun, it comes with aches and pains, but to keep busy and keep enjoying life.


Iris, you stole my heart. I hope many happy years are ahead for you.

Check out the movie, it really is a fun one.

All the best,



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