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“Personal style really originated with Iris Apfel; she has always espoused the virtues of not just dressing for yourself, but being who you are and doing it unapologetically, which is perhaps why she and her messaging and aesthetic have resonated so comprehensively. She’s a transcendent icon!”— Leandra Medine, manrepeller.com
A unique and lavishly illustrated collection of musings, anecdotes, and observations on all matters of life and style, infused with the singular candor, wit, and exuberance of the globally revered ninety-six-year-old fashion icon whose work has been celebrated at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute and by countless fans worldwide.
A woman who transcends time and trends, Iris Apfel is a true original, one of the most dynamic personalities in the worlds of fashion, textiles, and interior design. As the cofounder with her husband, Carl Apfel, of Old World Weavers, an international textile manufacturing company that specialized in reproducing antique fabrics, her prestigious clientele has included Greta Garbo, Estee Lauder, Montgomery Clift, and Joan Rivers. She also acted as a restoration consultant and replicated fabric for the White House over nine presidential administrations. Iris’s travels worldwide and a passion for flea markets of all sorts inspired her work and fueled her passion for collecting fashion and accessories.
In 2005, she was the first living person who was not a designer to have her clothing and accessories exhibited at the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, a blockbuster show that catapulted her to fame and a career as a supermodel, muse, and collaborator for renowned brands, from Citroen to Tag Heuer, and global gigs at Bon Marché in Paris and the Landmark Mandarin Oriental in Hong Kong. In 2015, acclaimed director Albert Maysles released Iris, his last film—now an Emmy Award nominee—to a global audience.
Now, this self-dubbed geriatric starlet, whose irrepressible authenticity, wit, candor, and infectious energy have earned her nearly a million followers on social media, has created an entertaining, thought-provoking, visually arresting, and inspiring volume—her first book—that captures her unique joie de vivre. Iris Apfel: Accidental Icon, contains an eclectic mix of musings and 180 full-color and black-and-white photos and illustrations—presented in the same improvisational, multifaceted style that have made Iris a contemporary fashion icon. Astute maxims, witty anecdotes from childhood to the present, essays on style and various subjects, from the decline of manners to the importance of taking risks, fill the book as do lists, both proclamatory, revelatory, and advisory.
All are paired with a bold, color-filled, exciting design that varies from page to page. Here, too, is a treasure trove of never-before-published personal photographs and mementos, mixed with images from top international fashion photographers and illustrators with enchanting, surprising novelties such as Disney cartoons, vintage postcards, the Iris Apfel Halloween costume for children, and more.
Iris Apfel is a renowned collector of and authority on antique textiles. In 1950, she and her husband, Carl Apfel, founded Old World Weavers, an international textile manufacturing company specializing in reproducing antique fabrics for an elite clientele. She was also a consultant to the White House during nine presidential administrations and produced fabric that still hangs in the Gold Room today. In 2005, the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art staged Rara Avis, a blockbuster exhibit of her clothing and accessories, making her the first living person who was not a fashion designer to be so honored. Since then she has been featured in numerous publications in print and online and has collaborated with and been the face of numerous brands and retailers. She was also the subject of director Albert Maysles’ award-winning film Iris. She sells Rara Avis, her line of clothing and accessories, on the Home Shopping Network. An associate professor at the University of Texas who teaches students about the fashion industry, she is the recipient of numerous awards, including a special award from the Women Together Foundation at the United Nations for her lifelong dedication and support of artisans around the world and for her inspiration as a true original to artists and designers of all generations and from all walks of life.