Iris Apfel is my Spirit Animal. Her creativity, irreverent style and love for being your best self fuel my soul.
The 97 year old model and accidental fashion icon known for her round and oversized glasses, love of vibrant colors and more is more statement jewelry has worn many hats in her colorful life, from textile tycoon to interior designer, businesswoman, author and model.
In 2005, she made a name for herself in the fashion scene when New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art debuted Rara Avis (Rare Bird): The Irreverent Iris Apfel, an exhibition of her eccentric and beautiful wardrobe.
Then in 2015 she reached ICON status as the subject of a documentary by the legendary documentarian Albert Maysles; titled “Iris”.
After that the entire world wanted to “channel their inner Iris Apfel”. She launched her own makeup collection for M·A·C and a line of eyewear for Eyebobs, as well as a line of bright and bold accessories for the Home Shopping Network and a Collaboration with Macy’s. She’s even got her own Barbie Doll!
I think the reason we all fell so head over heels with Iris Apfel (and continue to) is her unique understanding that there’s more to life and more to people than our perceived beauty, or lack thereof. Noone can explain it better than Iris herself so I’ll leave in in her words…
“I’ve always dressed for myself. I’m not a rebel, I’m not out to damage or change the world, and I’m not trying to offend anybody. But if the way I look displeases you, that’s your problem, not mine. You can’t please everybody. If you try to be everything to everybody, you’ll end up being nothing to no one”
“Nothing exists in a vacuum, so of course style and beauty are connected. There’s all kinds of beauty – savage beauty, sweet beauty, artificial beauty, even sexy beauty. But it’s all about point of view. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder – every culture has its standards of beauty, and those standards change with time. What some tribes consider beautiful we would consider hideous, and vice versa. And when we look back on styles from the past, sometimes we think “ugh, awful,” and at other times we think “how beautiful.” If everybody thought the same thing was beautiful all the time, it would be pretty awful!”
I make an effort daily to channel my inner Iris Apfel and remind myself of the beauty and joy in simply being who you are and embracing it.
“I’m not pretty, and I’ll never be pretty, but it doesn’t matter. I have something much better. I have style.”
“Life is a celebration. Embrace its glamour. Enjoy its mystery.”