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She called herself an “old fashion star”: fashion icon Iris Apfel is dead

She called herself an “old fashion star”: fashion icon Iris Apfel is dead

Iris Apfel worked successfully as an interior designer for decades, including for nine US presidents. It was only in old age that she became a style icon. Now Apfel has died at the age of 102.

Large round glasses, colorful necklaces and bracelets, short white hair – this is how Iris Apfel became world famous. Her likeness is even available as an emoji for mobile phones. “If my face makes people happy, then I’m there,” the style icon said when the emoji was published shortly before her 95th birthday. Fans around the world adored Apfel for her exceptional fashion style and sharp-tongued humor. The American has now died at the age of 102.

Her manager, Lori Sale, confirmed the fashion icon’s death in a statement to the German Press Agency on Friday (local time). March 1st was also listed as the date of death on Apfel’s Instagram page. Numerous followers of the deceased expressed their sadness and paid tribute to the fashion legend’s achievements.

Iris Apfel became a star when she was over 80

The diva, who was born in 1921 in the New York borough of Queens, only experienced her breakthrough when she was already over 80: in 2005, the Costume Institute of the New York Metropolitan Museum had to cancel an exhibition at short notice and was urgently looking for a replacement. Curator Harold Koda spontaneously thought of Apfel – and she conjured up such an impressive display of success from her wardrobe and jewelry boxes that she became a star within a very short time. “It was a godsend, to be honest, because after I retired my social life was in ruins,” Apfel once told the Guardian. “It’s wonderful that in my old age everyone is making such a fuss about me.” There was even a documentary film, of course called “Iris”.

Apfel, who liked to describe herself as an “old fashion star,” already had an extremely successful career as an interior designer. Together with her husband Carl, whom she married in 1948 (“He was cool, he was cuddly and could cook Chinese, so I couldn’t have had it better”), she worked as a designer team and advised, among other things, nine US presidents White House interior.

“It was actually a pretty easy job because everything had to be as similar as humanly possible to what it already was,” Apfel once recalled. “Well, until Mrs. Kennedy came along. She hired a famous Parisian designer to make the house really French-chic, and the design community went crazy. After that, we had to throw it all out and start again. But I liked it Mrs. Nixon. She was very nice.”

The Apfel design team lived in New York and Florida and traveled around the world. There was no room for children. “I don’t like it when a child has to have a nanny, so that wasn’t an option for us. But having children is also like a rule, it’s expected of you. And I don’t like that either.”

Iris Apfel: “Why these 15-year-old models? How is an older woman supposed to identify with them?”

Carl was married to Iris Apfel for more than 60 years until he died in 2015, shortly before his 101st birthday. The fashion diva then tried to distract herself with work – she posed as a model for advertising campaigns for several jewelry and clothing companies and designed jewelry for older people with integrated technology that checks the wearer’s health and alerts an ambulance in an emergency. “Everything that was already on the market was terrible, and we needed nice things that people could wear to work or to a party.”

Apfel repeatedly complained that designers were forgetting older people. “Why these 15-year-old models? How is an older woman supposed to identify with them?”

Above all, Apfel enjoyed her late fame. “I think people like me because I’m different. I don’t think like everyone else. People are so busy with the worst parts of technology these days. They spend their lives pushing buttons. And they use theirs Fantasy no more.”

Source: Stern

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