Centenarian style icon Iris Apfel passes away at 102

Centenarian style icon Iris Apfel passes away at 102

The world of fashion has lost one of its most original and iconic figures. Iris Apfel, known for her eclectic and flamboyant style, passed away at the age of 102.

Iris Afpel, centenarian style icon from the New York borough of Queens immediately recognizable by her oversized owlish glasses, died on March 1, 2024 at age 102, according to her Instagram account. (Photo by Dia DIPASUPIL / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP)(AFP)

The world lost an “extraordinary” woman, according to her agent Lori Sale, who did not reveal the cause of her death. She passed away on Friday, as revealed by her Instagram, right after celebrating her 102.5th birthday on Leap Day.

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She was born on Aug. 29, 1921, and had a love for fabrics and textiles. She and Carl, her husband, started Old World Weavers that restored fabrics for the White House for six U.S. presidents.

She made the centenarian style a statement with unique outfits by mixing high fashion and large costume jewellery. She often wore a feather boa, chunky beads, bangles and a jacket with Native American beadwork. She accessorized her look with her signature big, round, black-rimmed glasses, bright red lipstick and short white hair.

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She was the subject of museum exhibits and a documentary film, “Iris,” directed by Albert Maysles.

The late fashion icon never considered herself pretty

Apfel had something more valuable.

“I have something much better. I have style,” she once said. She also distinguished between being stylish and being fashionable.

“You can easily buy your way into being fashionable. Style, I think is in your DNA. It implies originality and courage,” she said in a TikTok video.

She never stopped working and creating, even in her old age. “I think retiring at any age is a fate worse than death. Just because a number comes up doesn’t mean you have to stop,” she said.

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Her agent, Sale, said, “Working alongside her was the honour of a lifetime. I will miss her daily calls, always greeted with the familiar question: ‘What have you got for me today?.’ She was a visionary in every sense of the word. She saw the world through a unique lens – one adorned with giant, distinctive spectacles that sat atop her nose.”

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