2021 ACE Awards Winner Iris Apfel

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The incomparable, iconic, and irreverent: Iris Apfel.


She refers to herself as “the world’s oldest living teenager,” but the bigger truth is that Iris Apfel is an icon of the fashion realm. Instantly recognizable for her extravagant and eclectic taste in clothing and accessories, Iris has been capturing the heart of the fashion world for decades. In fact, nothing seems to slow her down. In September, she celebrated turning 100 years old with a party on the 100th floor of Central Park Tower, where she announced two new collaborations: one with retailer H&M, due out in early 2022; the other with Zenni Optical to create the Iris x Zenni Zentennial Collection. A world-renowned authority on antique textiles and founder of the international textile-manufacturing company Old World Weavers, Iris spent much of her career working as an interior designer on restoration projects, including a few at the White House — crossing paths with no less than nine presidents.

Her 2020 autobiographical coloring book, Iris: The Coloring Book, depicts an abridged version of the fashion darling’s life in 16 pages of whimsical drawings and witty sayings, including “Remember you only have one trip. Enjoy it to its fullest.” To that end, the social media-savvy style queen (follow her on Instagram) was the star of Iris (2014), a memoir-documentary currently streaming on Netflix, and was featured in If You’re Not In The Obit, Eat Breakfast (2017) with Betty White, Mel Brooks, Stan Lee, and Dick Van Dyke.


Her book Iris Apfel: Accidental Icon, Musings Of A Geriatric Starlet (2018) inspired the Iris Apfel Barbie, and in 2005, The Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art premiered Rara Avis (Rare Bird): The Irreverent Iris Apfel, which was so well-received, it became a traveling exhibit. Iris recently partnered with Ebay on a vintage watch program with none other than Lil Yachty, recently partnered with Lowes Hardware, will debut a limited collection with Judith Leiber, has a jewelry collaboration with Bernadaud, and a pop up at the Peabody museum in Boston. Perhaps her Instagram tag says it best: “More is more & less is a bore.