Iris Apfel: Accidental Icon (Hardcover)
“Personal style really originated with Iris Apfel; she has always espoused the virtues of not just dressing for yourself, but being who you are and doing it unapologetically, which is perhaps why she and her messaging and aesthetic have resonated so comprehensively. She’s a transcendent icon!”— Leandra Medine, manrepeller.com
A unique and lavishly illustrated collection of musings, anecdotes, and observations on all matters of life and style, infused with the singular candor, wit, and exuberance of the globally revered ninety-six-year-old fashion icon whose work has been celebrated at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute and by countless fans worldwide.
A woman who transcends time and trends, Iris Apfel is a true original, one of the most dynamic personalities in the worlds of fashion, textiles, and interior design. As the cofounder with her husband, Carl Apfel, of Old World Weavers, an international textile manufacturing company that specialized in reproducing antique fabrics, her prestigious clientele has included Greta Garbo, Estee Lauder, Montgomery Clift, and Joan Rivers. She also acted as a restoration consultant and replicated fabric for the White House over nine presidential administrations. Iris’s travels worldwide and a passion for flea markets of all sorts inspired her work and fueled her passion for collecting fashion and accessories.
In 2005, she was the first living person who was not a designer to have her clothing and accessories exhibited at the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, a blockbuster show that catapulted her to fame and a career as a supermodel, muse, and collaborator for renowned brands, from Citroen to Tag Heuer, and global gigs at Bon Marché in Paris and the Landmark Mandarin Oriental in Hong Kong. In 2015, acclaimed director Albert Maysles released Iris, his last film—now an Emmy Award nominee—to a global audience.
Now, this self-dubbed geriatric starlet, whose irrepressible authenticity, wit, candor, and infectious energy have earned her nearly a million followers on social media, has created an entertaining, thought-provoking, visually arresting, and inspiring volume—her first book—that captures her unique joie de vivre. Iris Apfel: Accidental Icon, contains an eclectic mix of musings and 180 full-color and black-and-white photos and illustrations—presented in the same improvisational, multifaceted style that have made Iris a contemporary fashion icon. Astute maxims, witty anecdotes from childhood to the present, essays on style and various subjects, from the decline of manners to the importance of taking risks, fill the book as do lists, both proclamatory, revelatory, and advisory.
All are paired with a bold, color-filled, exciting design that varies from page to page. Here, too, is a treasure trove of never-before-published personal photographs and mementos, mixed with images from top international fashion photographers and illustrators with enchanting, surprising novelties such as Disney cartoons, vintage postcards, the Iris Apfel Halloween costume for children, and more.
About the Author
Iris Apfel is a renowned collector of and authority on antique textiles. In 1950, she and her husband, Carl Apfel, founded Old World Weavers, an international textile manufacturing company specializing in reproducing antique fabrics for an elite clientele. She was also a consultant to the White House during nine presidential administrations and produced fabric that still hangs in the Gold Room today. In 2005, the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art staged Rara Avis, a blockbuster exhibit of her clothing and accessories, making her the first living person who was not a fashion designer to be so honored. Since then she has been featured in numerous publications in print and online and has collaborated with and been the face of numerous brands and retailers. She was also the subject of director Albert Maysles’ award-winning film Iris. She sells Rara Avis, her line of clothing and accessories, on the Home Shopping Network. An associate professor at the University of Texas who teaches students about the fashion industry, she is the recipient of numerous awards, including a special award from the Women Together Foundation at the United Nations for her lifelong dedication and support of artisans around the world and for her inspiration as a true original to artists and designers of all generations and from all walks of life.
“Iris Apfel is one of the great style icons of modern times. Fashion influencer, brand ambassador, model, film star and designer. She has defined that aging is not just a destination but an art. More is more!!!! Iris defines a life well lived.”
— John Demsey, Executive Group President, the Estée Lauder Companies
“Iris is done little justice with the title icon! Icons seem fixed in time and inert. I have rarely met someone as vivid, as alive, as vital, vivacious, irreverent, joyous, relevant, and needed as Iris. She breathes young air, thinks young thoughts, and gathers no dust.”
— Dries Van Noten
“Personal style really originated with Iris Apfel; she has always espoused the virtues of not just dressing for yourself, but being who you are and doing it unapologetically, which is perhaps why she and her messaging and aesthetic have resonated so comprehensively. She’s a transcendent icon!”
— Leandra Medine, manrepeller.com
No one knows the rules of fashion better, and is more willing to break them, than Iris Apfel. As wildly unexpected as her styling might be, the effects never devolve into confusion or chaos. She is like a fashion Picasso, arranging diverse, unexpected elements in a compelling, completely original collage.
— Harold Koda, former curator in charge, the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Iris Apfel is a rare bird. Warm, unapologetically outspoken, and whip-smart, she is opinionated about any and all manner of things, yet always accepts the quirks that make us individuals. She is a beautiful soul and I am proud to call her a friend.
— Jenna Lyons
“Iris is one of my favorite subjects to photograph. She has four eyes in front and two eyes behind, and that’s why she can see things in a round-about way. In the midst of all the world’s craziness, she remains a loyal friend who constantly opens your eyes.”
— Bruce Weber
Personal photos, words of wisdom and inimitable style tips from the 96-year-old fashion icon who calls herself “the world’s oldest living teenager.”
— People Magazine
“Iris Apfel: Accidental Icon makes a perfect coffee table book—the kind you’ll actually want to read.”
— Town & Country
“Iris Apfel: Accidental Icon, contains maxims, anecdotes, personal photographs, Disney cartoons, and vintage postcards, among many colorful visuals.”
— Architectural Digest
“When it comes to style icons, there’s no one else like Iris Apfel. Her newest tome covers everything from her thoughts on style to fun anecdotes from her childhood to now, lists of likes and dislikes, personal photos and mementos, and novelties like vintage postcards.”
“Accidental Icon was written for readers of any age.”
— The Hollywood Reporter
“It’s hard to resist this self-proclaimed “geriatric starlet.” With her owlish glasses, loud prints and necklaces upon necklaces, even in her 90s, Apfel is a fashion icon who combines a memoir with photos of the vibrant contents of her closets.”
— New York Times Book Review
“With the release of her new book, Accidental Icon, she retains her title of the “coolest nonagenarian” on the planet.”
— Miami Indulge
“A joyous, colorful collection of photographs; drawings; reflections; and personal mottos on marriage, business, fame and style.”
— The Boca Raton Observer
“Even if you aren’t interested in bold, bright fashion, after nearly a century on the planet, Apfel’s words of wisdom about aging, individuality and success are worth reading.”
— CNBC Make It