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Fashion icon Iris Apfel (100) launches her own collection

It is undoubtedly the world's most striking fashion icon: the 100-year-old Iris apple. Although the fashion icon blew out 100 candles last year, that does not mean she is standing still. Today she is launching a brand new collection together with fashion chain H&M, which completely matches her unique style. Text: Patrick Stoffer
Image: H&MFoto: H&MThe collaboration came about because, according to H&M, the fashion legend has a lot of influence in the fashion world and has an eclectic taste. "Iris shows the basics of what fashion is about: expressing who you are or want to be in a fun way."

According to her, Iris Apfel is entering into a collaboration with H&M for this milestone for two reasons: “I think H&M is great and definitely a pioneer in its field. And I like that. H&M is a leader in fashion looks at an affordable price. Totally my thing, so.”

She drew her inspiration from the plant and animal kingdoms, but also from other splendor that the world has to offer. The decision was made to add many layers and make statement pieces part of the collection, which she loves so much. In terms of colors, striking shades such as emerald green, canary yellow, turquoise, purple and warm orange were chosen.

One of the highlights from the collection is a purple coat, a true statement piece. The result is as radiant as Apfel itself. For example, a jacquard-woven suit, the embroidery of which consists of pea shells and pea beads, a voluminous frilled jacket made of tulle and a flowy frilled skirt with a matching blouse with an irises print. If all that wasn't enough, the style icon also adds a full jewelry line to make a completely Apfel appearance. Photo: H&MA century ago (1921) she first saw the light in Queens, New York as Iris Barrel in a Jewish family. Her father's side of the family worked in the stained glass industry and her mother, born in Russia, owned a clothing store. Apfel studied art history at NYU and later attended art school.
In 1947 she met textile merchant Carl Apfel and they tied the knot a year later. The design team overhauled the White House no fewer than nine times. “It was actually a fairly easy job because everything always had to be as similar as possible to how it already was. Well, until Mrs. Kennedy came along. She hired a famous Parisian designer to make the house truly French-chic, and the design world went crazy. Then we had to throw everything away and start over. But I really liked Mrs. Nixon.” They also decorated the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

The couple lived in Florida and New York and traveled all over the world together. There was no room for children in the couple's busy life. In 1992, Carl and Iris retired and found themselves in somewhat calmer waters. In 2015, after more than 60 years of marriage, Carl passed away at the age of 100.

The diva was not in the spotlight all her life. This happened in 2005, when she was already over 80. The Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art had to cancel an exhibition that year and was looking for a replacement for this performance. Apfel turned out to be a success and became a star and style icon in no time. Her special clothing style proved to be an inspiration for many and in 2018 a Barbie doll was even developed, inspired by Iris.


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