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Fashion Icon Iris Apfel Passes Away At 102

Tommy Hilfiger hailed Apfel as an “innovator and leader”

Renowned American designer and fashion icon Iris Apfel has passed away at the age of 102.

Known for her distinctive style characterized by cropped white hair, oversized glasses, bold lipstick, and chunky beads, Apfel became a fixture in the fashion world for over half a century.

Apfel rose to prominence in the 1980s and 90s, captivating audiences with her unique fashion sense. She was a regular presence at Paris fashion shows and boasted a roster of celebrity clients, including Greta Garbo and Estée Lauder.

News of Apfel’s passing was shared with her nearly three million followers on Instagram, accompanied by a photo of her sporting her signature oversized round glasses.

Tributes poured in from across the globe, with designer Tommy Hilfiger hailing her as an “innovator and leader” in the realm of textiles and style.

“Iris Apfel has become a world-famous fashion icon because of her incredible talent not only as an artist, but as an influencer,” Hilfiger said, “She has had an amazing effect on so many people with her huge heart and magic touch with everyone she meets.”

US singer Lenny Kravitz and Ted Lasso actress Hannah Waddingham also paid homage to Apfel, acknowledging her profound impact on the fashion industry.

Born to a Jewish family in New York in 1921, Apfel initially pursued studies in art history and specialized in interior design, with a focus on textiles. Her illustrious career included work on restoration projects at the White House before she found fame as a trendsetter in her 80s and later pursued a career in professional modelling at the remarkable age of 97.

In 2014, Apfel was the subject of a documentary titled “Iris,” directed by acclaimed filmmaker Albert Maysles. Speaking to BBC Newsnight in 2015, she emphasized her belief that fashion should be enjoyable and viewed as an opportunity for creativity.

“It’s part of my life because I’m a creative person, and I think other people should indulge in a bit of creativity,” Apfel remarked.

Ozioma Samuel-Ugwuezi

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