The fashion and interior design industries mourn the death of Iris Apfel

Iris Apfel

Iris Apfel

Published Mar 4, 2024


The fashion industry mourns one of its own following the passing of Iris Apfel. The fashion icon passed away on March 1. She was 102 years old.

Known for her flamboyant style, Apfel was a fashion and interior designer and an actress. She is one of the designers who contributed significantly to the fashion industry by working tirelessly and forging impressive collaborations.

Iris Apfel. Picture: James Mollison.

In 2016, she partnered with INC International Concepts and released an “Iris Meets INC” collection. She was 95 at the time and had so much pride in working hard.

“I just love what I do. I work very hard. I think hard work is my medicine, my salvation. I advise everybody to love what they do and work hard at it,” she told CNBC.

Social media is filled with heart-warming messages from those who loved her and celebrated her work.

Iris Apfel. Picture: Instagram.

“Thank you for being the most unbelievable icon. I can’t believe only yesterday you were celebrating your birthday and as usual your humour shone through when you wrote: ‘In half birthdays, I’m only 26!!! I’m 102 and a half today.

“Happy leap day!’ Goodbye, dear Iri s… the world will miss you,” wrote publicist Alexandra Poster Bennaim.

Interior designer The Decorator, who was inspired by Apfel, spoke about how the style icon influenced her fashion sense in a way that she always envisioned her when picking fashion items.

“Apfel embodied the epitome of a wise Jewish New Yorker with an unparalleled sense of style. More was always better for her, as she fearlessly adorned herself in layers of extravagant pieces. I recall purchasing a pair of bold Gucci glasses in Milan, envisioning her approving nod at my choice.

“Inspired by her timeless elegance, I vowed to cherish them until I, too, reach the age of 102, knowing they’ll only grow more splendid with time,” wrote The Decorator.

“During that same trip to Milan, I captured a photo of a store window, unknowingly intertwining my admiration for Iris Apfel with my surroundings.

“Her infectious enthusiasm for design and fashion transcended borders, leaving an indelible mark on the world of style.”

Iris Apfel. Picture: Instagram.

Some remember her with her greatest quotes when defining style and, according to Apfel, style is in your DNA.

“I have no great definitions of style to give. Just me! Style is really a personal thing. I never wonder what I should do or how, in terms of looks. I don't get lost in a lot of thoughts. I just do it. In life as in dressing,” she once told “Elle Italia”.

Below are more of her tributes from fans and supporters.