Iris Apfel was raised in Queens, New York, as an only child. Since she was an only child, her parents took her to many family events where she was the only child. Many of them were at the house where her dad’s parents lived in Brooklyn, New York. Apfel’s grandmother let her play with pieces of fabric that her four daughters had cut off of things they made for charity.
In her new book, “Iris Apfel: Accidental Icon,” which came out in March, Apfel, who is now 96, says, “She opened one bag, then another, and what I saw made my eyes pop: a huge pile of small pieces of fabric in all kinds of colours and patterns.” There were bits and pieces of every kind, shape, and size.
When Apfel went to visit her grandmother, if she was good, she could take home six scraps. Apfel writes, “I did this for whole evenings because I was crazy about texture, colour, and pattern.” “Looking back, it’s clear that playing this way made my eyes sharper and gave me a deep interest in fabric.”
Today, Apfel is known for her own style. She wears layers of bright colours, big glasses, and jewellery with such style that she was the subject of an exhibit at the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art from September 13, 2005, to January 22, 2006. Apfel was 84 years old when the show opened.
How Many Years has Iris Apfel been in the Fashion Industry
“Iris Apfel is an American original in the truest sense,” the Metropolitan Museum of Art said about her. She is one of the most interesting people in the fashion, textile, and interior design industries. Over the past 40 years, she has developed a style that is both funny and very different from anyone else’s. “She usually shows her creativity by mixing high and low fashion, like Dior haute couture with flea market finds or 19th-century church vestments with Dolce & Gabbana lizard pants.”
Apfel is also well-known to people in general. She was just made into a one-of-a-kind Barbie, and Apfel’s book came out at the same time. Mattel will sell two “Styled By Iris Apfel” Barbies in the fall of 2018, the toy company tells CNBC Make It. However, this item is not for sale. Prices and exact release dates are still being worked out, according to Mattel.
“Barbie could learn a lot from Iris Apfel, who has a unique sense of style, an entrepreneurial spirit, and a strong sense of self.” “Her long career makes her a great choice for a one-of-a-kind doll, which is the highest honour Barbie gives,” Mattel said in a written statement.
Before Apfel became a “geriatric starlet,” a name she gave herself to describe how the Met exhibit had changed her, she and her late husband, Carl Apfel, started and ran Old World Weavers, an international company that made fabrics, in 1950. They had just gotten married at the time, and they stayed married for 68 years.
Up until 1992, the husband and wife ran Old World Weavers. During that time, they worked for nine presidents, from Harry Truman to Bill Clinton. Apfel says in her book that when she worked at the White House, people called her the “First Lady of Fabric” or “Our Lady of the Cloth.”
The Apfels went to Europe twice a year to buy fabrics that they couldn’t find in the United States. They made copies of fabrics from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries and sold them at 115 East 57th Street in Manhattan, New York.
Apfel used to make clothes out of fabric, but that was a long time ago. But in the last few years, her fashion career has really taken off.
In her book, Apfel says, “I got my first big job in beauty and fashion when I was only ninety years old.” For the winter of 2011, she created a limited-edition makeup line for MAC cosmetics. She says, “I’m the oldest woman who’s ever been in a major cosmetics ad.”
In 2011, Apfel’s line was also shown on the Home Shopping Network for the first time. “Rave Avis” is the name of the line, which has a lot of big, colourful jewellery.
A documentary about Apfel’s life was also released in 2014. It was called “Iris” and was made by the well-known documentary filmmaker Albert Maysles. In 2017, it was in the running for an Emmy.
Even if you don’t care about bold, bright fashion, Apfel’s advice about getting older, being yourself, and being successful is worth reading. Here are 10 tips on how to be successful from Apfel’s new book:
1. Don’t worry about your age too much.
“I never think about my age.” That could be the solution. I don’t think about it at all; it’s just a quick thought that crosses my mind. It’s just a number. Working is good for my health, I’ve found. She says, “I love what I do and give it everything I have.”
Apfel is right when she says, “Getting old ain’t for sissies.” “So what?” You start to fall apart, but all you have to do is put yourself back together. Even if you don’t like getting older, what’s the alternative? Here you are. Embrace it. I say that you should help other people with what you know.
2. Choose a partner who is happy for you when you do well.
Carl died in 2015 at the age of 100, and Apfel writes that “everyone he ever met knew he was a true gentleman.” “He was known for his sense of humour and kindness.” We did almost everything together. This book was written because he helped and encouraged me all the time. He made me the centre of attention, and then he sat back and enjoyed it. When people said nice things about me, he had a lot more fun than I did. I miss him madly. “Sleep well, sweet prince.”
3. Do things that make you happy.
“I never thought that my name or face would be known. People calling me a fashion icon was something I never thought would happen. I never thought that my clothes and accessories would be shown in museums. I never thought that when I was in my 90s, I’d be on the cover of a magazine or the face of a cosmetics company. Apfel is doing some writing. “I didn’t have any expectations.” I do things just because I want to. I do something if it sounds fun and interesting, and then I worry about it later. Trying new things takes a lot of energy and strength. Making things happen, learning how to do something well, or facing your fears takes a lot of work. Most people find it easier to just go with the flow. Still, it’s not very interesting.”
4. “To stay young, you have to think young”
“When you get older, and I’m paraphrasing here if you have two of anything, chances are one of them will hurt when you wake up in the morning.” But even though it hurts, you have to get up and keep going. If you want to stay young, you have to think young. “Having a sense of wonder, a sense of humour and a sense of curiosity is what keeps me going,” she says. “They keep you young, childlike, open to new people and things, and ready for a new adventure.” I never want to be a grumpy old person. I say I’m the oldest teenager still alive in the world, and I plan to keep it that way.
5. Give more importance to what you think than to what others think.
“I never tried to fit in.” “I didn’t try to be a rebel or do things that weren’t socially acceptable—unfortunately, I had to learn how to play bridge when I was young—but I learned early on that I have to be my own person to be happy,” she says.
“If you try to be everything to everyone, you end up being “nothing” to everybody.” Some people might think that the way I dress is “different” or “eccentric,” but that doesn’t bother me. I don’t dress to attract attention; I dress for myself. “When you don’t dress like everyone else, you don’t have to think like everyone else.”
6. But don’t close yourself off.
“Here’s the important part: I know I’m not an island but rather a part of the main,” to quote the poet John Donne. I fit in in my own way. I’ve never been much of a conformist, and it hasn’t hurt me yet in my ninety-something years, so I think I’ve been doing something right… But don’t bother if you don’t try to join in. If that happens, being unique will hurt you. First, try to fit in, and then take a step out. There is a difference between being different and being disliked for it and being seen as unique and accepted or even loved for it. “You can have your cake and eat it.”
7. Money can’t buy you success.
“Success is being happy, in love, with good people around you, doing what you love, and helping other people.”
I don’t think it’s worth a dollar to sell your soul. “I don’t think so, at least,” says Apfel.
8. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to look good.
“You can’t be stylish just by wearing expensive clothes.” You can have lots of money and still look bad. She writes, “You can wear the most expensive clothes, shoes that cost ten thousand dollars, and a lot of jewellery, and you’ll still look like a Christmas tree.” ” It doesn’t matter as much what you wear as how you wear it.
“I’m just as happy to wear $3 bangles as I am to wear expensive jewellery, and I like to mix expensive and cheap pieces, putting them together when the mood strikes me.” When you try too hard to look stylish, you look awkward, like you’re wearing a costume, or like your clothes are walking into the room before you do. If you’re nervous, you won’t be able to pull off a great outfit, no matter how good it looks. I think you should give up on the whole thing if that happens. “Being happy is more important than looking good.”
9. Start something new by taking one small step.
“You only fail if you do not try,” says Apfel.
“I never thought I couldn’t do something because I was a woman.” I wanted to sell fabric as a business, so I just figured out how to do it. If I had thought about starting Old World Weavers too much, I might not have done what I wanted to do. You have to do something sometimes, even if it’s just a small thing. I’ve lived and dressed this way for most of my ninety-something years on Earth, and it’s never led me astray.
10. Don’t act like you’re younger than you are.
“Having wrinkles is not a big deal.” Trying to look younger when you’re older is a waste of time, and you won’t fool anyone. “If you get a facelift when you’re 75, no one will think you’re thirty,” she says.