getting to know iris apfel

in between takes on the set of our spring 2015 campaign shoot in new york city, we asked one of our very important leading ladies, iris apfel, some questions. read on, and listen in.
March 04, 2015  |   column: DELIBERATE POLISH


who: self-described “geriatric starlet,” interior designer, fashion muse, model, rare bird.

whatwe love iris as one of the stars of our spring 2015 campaign—but her legacy rests on more than  her ability to sport red lipstick, oversized specs and armfuls of bangles with serious panache. the fabulous ms. apfel studied art history at new york university, worked at fashion industry daily women’s wear daily, ran a textile company from 1948-1992 and did interior design work for a number of white house administrations (nine, to be exact). her personal archives are legendary: not only was her wardrobe the subject of a metropolitan museum of art costume institute exhibition in 2005, decades of traveling produced a one king’s lane sale of over 800 interiors treasures in 2014. she’s also been married to her husband, carl apfel, for nearly 70 years.

when: apfel was born in queens in 1921, but her time in the limelight didn’t truly come until her seventh or eighth decade. this year, albert maysles’ documentary about apfel (he was one of the four directors behind documentary grey gardens) , will be making it’s way to the silver screen. we’re confident she’ll steal the spotlight.

in her words: “i think if women put some more of the time and money they put on their heads in their heads, they’d be better off.”

Filed under: deliberate polish