CNN Style wasn’t kidding, when Stephy Chung introduced an in-depth profile of a legendary New York style icon with the words ”Even at 96, Iris Apfel shows little interest in slowing down.”
Known for her bold and eccentric mix of haute couture with flea market finds, Apfel’s notoriety got a major boost in 2005, when her personal clothing collection went on display at the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Renamed the Anna Wintour Costume Center in May 2014, the renovated Costume Instutute Space includes the Carl and Iris Barrel Apfel Gallery to orient visitors to The Costume Institute's exhibitions. That, dear friends, is known as making a name for yourself.
A year later, Chung’s description of Iris Apfel was one the money, with the 97-year-old signing with IMG, one of the biggest and most prestigious model and talent agencies in the fashion world. The company will represent Apfel in modeling contracts, as well as appearances and endorsements.
"I’m very excited. I never had a proper agent," Apfel told WWD. "I’m a do-it-yourself girl. I never expected my life would take this turn so I never prepared for it. It all just happened so suddenly, and I thought at my tender age, I’m not going to set up offices and get involved with all kinds of things. I thought it was a flash in the pan, and it’s not going to last. Somehow, people found me. People would just call. Tommy Hilfiger said that was no way to do it, and he put us together. I’m very excited and very grateful."
Apfel hopes that her success will inspire other older women to do the same. "I don’t think a number should make any difference and make you stop working," she said. "I think retirement is a fate worse than death. I love to work, and love my work. I feel sorry for people who don’t like what they do. I do it now to the exclusion of everything else. I meet interesting, creative people, my juices flow and I really have a fine time."
In May 2013, the New York Times T Style sat down with Iris Apfel.