Fashion icon Iris Apfel dies aged 102

2 March 2024, 10:34

Iris Apfel, a vivacious personality in the world of fashion, textiles and interior design, has died.
Iris Apfel, a vivacious personality in the world of fashion, textiles and interior design, has died. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

Fashion icon Iris Apfel has died aged 102.

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The self-proclaimed "geriatric starlet" was known for her more-is-more approach to style.

She became a viral sensation in her later years after the Metropolitan Museum of Art created an exhibition on her wardrobe.

Apfel's agent, Lori Sale, announced that she had died in a statement on Friday but her cause of death remains unknown.

"Iris Apfel was extraordinary, working alongside her was the honour of a lifetime," she said.

"I will miss her daily calls, always greeted with the familiar question: 'What have you got for me today?' Testament to her insatiable desire to work.

"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.

"Through those lenses, she saw the world as a kaleidoscope of colour, a canvas of patterns and prints.

"Her artistic eye transformed the mundane into the extraordinary and her ability to blend the unconventional with the elegant was nothing short of magical."

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Iris Apfel
Iris Apfel. Picture: Alamy

Tributes have since poured in from big names in the world of fashion.

US designer Tommy Hilfiger praised Apfel as an "innovator and leader" in the world of textiles and style, who "will go down in history".

He said: "Iris Apfel has become a world-famous fashion icon because of her incredible talent not only as an artist, but as an influencer.

"She has had an amazing effect on so many people with her huge heart and magic touch with everyone she meets."

Designer Jenna Lyons said: "Thank you for sharing your beautiful life."

Meanwhile, US singer Lenny Kravitz, said: "You mastered the art of living. Thank you for your energy and inspiration."

Actress Hannah Waddingham said: "Ohhhhhh. Goodnight and God bless Ma'am. What joy and endless style you brought to so many."

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