At 94, Iris Apfel is still going strong, and her personal style is a statement all her own – a celebration of life and color. “Color can raise the dead,” Iris says, in the recent documentary about the fashion icon who continues to inspire new fashion designers today. Talk about inspiring nonagenarians.

Early in her career, Apfel worked at Women’s Wear Daily and worked with renowned interior designer Elinor Johnson, gaining insight into both fashion design and interior design. In 1950, she and her husband Carl opened Old World Weavers, which they operated for 42 years. Iris helped with White House restoration projects for nine different administrations, including Truman, Kennedy, Reagan, and Clinton. In 2005, The Costume Institute at MOMA held an exhibition on Iris Apfel’s style called “Rara Avis,” which translates to Rare Bird.

In February of last year, Iris was chosen as the stylish ambassador for Australian fashion brand, Blue Illusion. Blue Illusion’s co-founder, Donna Guest, told Mashable in an interview: “She’s a woman with a sense of self and holds no apologies only ‘oops’ at least I tried. There is a certain strength to her that I admire, from her interior design career and family life to building this elegantly powerful public voice at age 94! There’s no doubt in mind Iris is chic.”

The documentary, entitled simply, Iris, is worth the watch. Here’s some of what Iris has to say about style:

“I like individuality, it’s so lost these days”

“You can’t try to be somebody you’re not, that’s not style.”

“Black isn’t style, it’s a uniform”

“I’m not pretty and I’ll never be pretty, but it doesn’t matter. I have sometime much better. I have style.”

“If your hair is done properly and you’re wearing good shoes, you can get away with anything.”

“Great personal style is an extreme curiosity about yourself”

“It’s better to be happy than well dressed.”



Image source: By MiamiFilmFestival [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons