Iris Apfel

Iris Apfel, born on August 29, 1921, began her career as an art student and interior decorator, and she has become one of the most iconic stylists in the world. Iris never had any plans to become a wealthy fashion icon. All she had was personal taste and her profession as an interior designer. She and her husband set up Old World Weavers, an interior decoration company, and their clientele ranged from the White House to the Metropolitan Museum of Arts. Apfel’s not a minimalist, and for her, more is better, and you will see this principle in her designs. We’ll help you celebrate this fashion legend right here.

Fast Facts

Full Name:

Iris Apfel

Birth date:

August 29, 1921




5' 6"

Net Worth:

$25 million

Iris's Social Media:


Iris Apfel is one of the oldest fashion models in the world. Apfel is intelligent and has experience in styling that spans many decades. Apfel was born on August 29, 1921, and her zodiac sign is Virgo. She was born in Queens, a borough of New York. Her parents have Jewish origins. She was her parent’s only child, and they raised her on their farm. Her passion for fashion started when she was a child, and she purchased her first fashion piece in her early teens.

Later, she studied art history at New York University and attended the University of Wisconsin art school. After her studies, she worked as a copywriter at Women’s Wear Daily; a magazine referred to by many as the bible of fashion. She made her first foray into interior design by working with Elinor Johnson, a respected interior designer. Apfel got a job as a reporter at Grossinger’s, and her keen eye for style was reflected in her styling. Soon, guests at the resort hired her to help style their living spaces.

After Apfel got married, she and her husband Carl partnered with a textile mill. Their company, Old World Weavers, would give fabric samples to the mill, and the mills would create it at scale. They traveled to countries with interior decoration history and collected unique fabric pieces. Apfel’s fashion sense only became widely known in 2005, when she was asked to help save a failing show. She presented her jewelry collection along with her clothing. With that, the public saw Apfel in her full glory, and that started her career in mainstream fashion. In 2012, as a visiting professor, she helped the University of Texas develop a program teaching students how to succeed in the fashion business.

Career timeline

She Has Her First exhibition

She is invited to showcase her collection in a last-minute attempt to salvage a scheduled show.

Professor Apfel

She becomes a visiting professor of fashion at the University of Texas, Austin.

She Helps Create Her Documentary

A documentary about her life is made in 2014, and she provides insight into her life and how she lives it.

She Starts Her Modeling Career

Apfel signs with I.M.G., a modeling outfit, and starts showcasing her style.

Why We Love Iris Apfel

  1. She is a feminist

    Even though she rejects the label, Apfel believes women should have agency and be able to make their own decisions. For her, women should have agency in matters like pregnancy and childbearing.

  2. She is relentless

    Apfel travels worldwide to source fabric, and she would stop at nothing to find what she wants. Her attitude towards her business is nothing short of admirable.

  3. For her, age is just a number

    Apfel still designs even though she is almost 100 years of age. She says age is just a passing thought, and she never dwells on it.

5 Surprising Facts

  1. She still has her wedding shoes

    Even though she got married over six decades ago, Apfel still has the pair of shoes she wore on her wedding day, and she says the shoes are back in vogue.

  2. She lead the jeans revolution for women

    Iris started wearing effeminate jeans in the 1930s when neither men nor women wore them.

  3. She has Christmas decorations all year-round

    Christmas or not, you will always find a Christmas tree in Iris's palm beach house.

  4. She is an author

    Apfel has written three books about design and fashion.

  5. She never pretends to be younger

    Apfel is not a fan of medical procedures designed to hide people's ages. .

Iris Apfel FAQs

Does Iris Apfel still work?

Yes, she is still active. She still designs clothes and glasses for top fashion brands.

Where did Iris Apfel get her money?

Iris Apfel and her husband Carl owned Old World Weavers, a textile and interior decoration company. Together, they designed and restored interiors for a living.

Does Iris Apfel have a child?

Iris and her husband, Carl, chose not to have children. They decided because they traveled often, their work would not allow them to care for children.

Iris Apfel’s birthday dates

2024August 29Thursday
2025August 29Friday
2026August 29Saturday
2027August 29Sunday
2028August 29Tuesday

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