Words to Live By: Iris Apfel

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Celebrating her 99th birthday today, Iris Apfel is one fashion’s oldest living tastemakers. Before this claim to fame, the New York-native built a career alongside her late husband, Carl Apfel, with whom she travelled the world buying textiles for their business, Old World Weavers, until they retired in 1992. Her eye for style was apparent, and nine U.S. presidents hired her as an interior designer for the White House.

Apfel’s received wider recognition in 2004, as the subject of an exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute in New York. Rara Avis: The Irreverent Iris Apfel introduced the world to her eclectic sense of style with a display of her personal wardrobe and accessories. Since then, the fashion icon has transcended her household name with a growing list of achievements. She’s starred as the subject of a biographical documentary, been a visiting professor at multiple universities, immortalized as a Barbie doll, designed fashion and accessories lines, and published a book.

Rarely without her signature black, circular glasses, Apfel is a continued source of inspiration and guidance in the design industry. On her birthday, enjoy Apfel’s most colorful and witty words that prevail beyond fashion.

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