Iris Apfel: Accidental Icon
By Iris Apfel
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.
I started editing most of the reviews in 2016 because my PhD in English (a humblebrag if you’ve ever seen one) has to be put to use somehow. So I know “the about” all the books and how good they are, which is super cool in general but also terrible for my budget. And I’m the one insisting on the Oxford comma. It’s the hill I’ll die on. I would kidnap Lily the office dog if a) I didn’t have three cats, b) I don’t also love Heidi and Ross and would never hurt them, and c) I didn’t just make a public record of intent to commit a crime. I also help with posting articles to the websites and doing book round-up articles.