Iris Apfel, nicknamed the “geriatric starlet”, a New York fashion icon, has died at the age of 102

Sad day in the New York fashion world, with the news of the passing of an iconic figure. The eccentric Iris Apfel died on Friday, at the venerable age of 102 years. The sad announcement was made by her official Instagram account, according to AFP.

The eccentric Iris Apfel passed away PHOTO AFP

In a solemn post, Iris Apfel's account marked the end of a life full of color and creativity. A simple mention of the dates of birth and death, accompanied by an image of the lady in a long, golden dress and massive jet-black glasses, was enough for followers to figure out what she was talking about.

Until her last day, Iris Apfel remained active on social media platforms, being one of the oldest and boldest voices in the fashion world.

Labeled as the “geriatric starlet”, Apfel has not been shy about embracing the title and putting her stamp on various collaborations, including with famous brands such as H&M, Citroën, Magnum, Happy Socks and MAC.

With a huge following of 2.9 million followers on Instagram, Iris Apfel has been a constant presence at fashion events with her iconic smile, proudly and stylishly displaying her latest creations from a wheelchair of great designers.

He renovated the White House for nine presidents

Iris Apfel was born in 1921, in Queens, New York, into a Jewish family. He studied art history. His career took an unexpected turn when he became involved in interior design, helping to renovate the White House for no fewer than nine presidents, beginning with Harry Truman and ending with Bill Clinton.

But his ultimate passion was always fashion. For decades, Apfel amassed an impressive collection of clothes from the most prominent designers of the 20th century, veritable works of couture art, in the two floors of her Park Avenue apartment.

In 2005, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York hosted a retrospective of her wardrobe, and her famous jewelry was a particular attraction, with Apfel confessing that she used to shop at Tiffany's as well as the markets of Harlem.

“You're not pretty, you're stylish”

“One day someone said to me: 'You're not pretty and you never will be. But that doesn't matter. You have something much more important: you have style'”he used to say.

His expression of individuality was recognized beyond the borders of America. In 2016, he was the subject of an exhibition at the Bon Marche in Paris, was the face of a Citroën advertising campaign and an Australian pret-a-porter brand, Blue Illusion.

A documentary about her life, titled “Iris”, directed by Albert Maysles, was released in 2014, offering an intimate look at her unique personality and her contribution to the world of fashion.

The tragedy of her life came in 2015 when her husband Carl, a textile industrialist, died aged 100 after 67 years of marriage.

Iris Apfel with her husband Carl (2008) PHOTO Archive

Iris Apfel with her husband Carl (2008) PHOTO Archive

Loving colorful silhouettes and refusing uniformity, Iris Apfel has always encouraged women to embrace their own individuality with the mantra: “Dare to be different!”