Iris Apfel often laughs over her “cool” title.
The 95-year-old fashionista has become a style icon over the last few years, landing countless collaborations for brands including MAC and online shopping channel Home Shopping Network (HSN). Her thick-rimmed glasses, bright lipstick and vivid eyeshadow make Iris stand out from the crowds and have won her a massive fan base.
“I sit and laugh about it all the time,” she told Footwear News. “I’m not doing anything differently than I did 70 years ago. And now all of a sudden I’m hot or cool or whatever it is you are at the moment.
“I love to work. I’m a creative person, and I have lots of ideas and creative energy. And if it doesn’t come out, it would make me crazy.”
She even has a documentary dedicated to her, titled Iris, and is a highly-respected name in the business. HSN CEO Mindy Grossman praised her wisdom, creativity and experience, while Jennifer Ash Rudick, one of the producers of the documentary, notes how big glasses are back in fashion due to Iris.
“(While waiting in line to see a film), everybody was so interested in having a picture with her; they all just wanted to come up and say, ‘Thank you for being you. You’ve inspired me to be myself,’” Jennifer added. “And there seemed this genuine connection between her and all these fans that I didn’t know she had.”
What’s more impressive is that everything Iris puts her name to is high quality and reflects her own extravagant taste, with Mindy pointing out the star believes everything must have a meaning and reference point. She also gave a word of warning to anyone looking to work with her: “Don’t try to convince her to do anything she doesn’t truly love.”
“I have a lot of things I love. I’m not fixated on one thing,” Iris said. “I love shoes. I’m mad about shoes, as I guess most women are. Early on, I started to be an amateur shoe designer myself, so I have great appreciation.”