The Muse of Manhattan’s Apartment

Posted by Suzi | May 23, 2012

Iris Apfel was 83, and 13 years into her retirement, when she became a celebrity.

“Taste you can learn,” she tells Architectural Digest, now 90-years-old and poe-faced. “But style is like charisma. You know it when you see it.”

Shooting to stardom in 2005, when The Metropolitan Museum in New York staged an exhibition of her spectacular wardrobe (which featured rarified pieces and works-of-art by designers from New York to Paris to Tibet), she’s now coveted by the style blog brigade and has every big fashion brand worth its salt falling at her particularly well-heeled feet.

MAC launched a make-up line in her colours earlier in the year, while Sandra Choi and Simon Holloway (the Creative Directors of Jimmy Choo), have named a mini collection of ethnic-glamour accessories in her honour this summer. The Iris sandal- handwoven in leather macramé with bright resin beads- is, according to the Guardian: “What every modern-day Apfel will be wearing in Ibiza this summer”.

Having started in fashion, she fell into interior design after WW2, saying “I guess people thought if I could decorate myself I could decorate a room or two.”

Today I’m feeling inspired by her total alligance to mad hat style. “People write to me saying: ‘You’ve changed my life!’” She divulges, pausing for a minute, before affirming, “I’m giving them permission to be individual again.”



Picture credits:



  1. My muse! This is amazing!

    Comment by Ikie — May 23, 2012 #

  2. Love this post! I want to be like her one day.

    Comment by Carlo Brazzel — July 14, 2012 #

  3. Some very interesting details here , thanks for the post.

    Comment by Talib — January 31, 2013 #

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