Thursday, March 15, 2012


A few weeks ago, Patti Digh posted this photo of Iris Apfel on her blog: 3x3x365. Her blog is titled this because it is written by 3 friends who live in 3 different states and they each contribute a photo every day of the year. Patti Digh is the author of many books. She is a teacher and a motivator also. I receive emails from her with thoughts and positive affirmations. Incredible! But to get back to the reason of this post:

She posted a photo of Iris Apfel who is in her 80's now. I was intrigued by the photo of Iris and remember seeing her on a television show once. She is clearly distinguishable because of her style and her glasses. But this blog that Patti wrote got me to thinking more about her and her style in particular. I really admire her style. She clearly knows who she is and is happy with that. There are certain people in my life that I have seen that I am clearly drawn to because of their style or their way of accessorizing, either themselves or their homes. Iris is one of these women. I would hazard a guess that she has some art background and also with the little work that I have done with the Enneagrom I wouldn't doubt if she is a 4. But I digress.

Check out her wonderful jewelry!
I love the bracelets and jewelry she wears in this photo. She clearly is not afraid of color!
And these!

According to Wikipedia, Iris Apfel was born Iris Barrel in Astoria, Queens, New York, as an only child to Samual Barrel and his Russian-born wife, Sadye, who owned a fashion boutique. She studied art history at New York University and attended art school at University of Wisconsin (my suspicions confirmed). She worked for Women's Wear Daily and for interior designer Elinor Johnson and she was also an assistant to illustrator Robert Goodman. In 1948 she married Carl Apfel. She took part in several design restoration projects, including work at the White House for presidents Truman, Eisenhower, Nixon, Kennedy, Johnson, Carter, Reagan, and Clinton. She still consults and lectures about style and fashion.

Patti Digh was right in viewing Iris as a style icon and someone she would aspire to be like when she is in her 80's. I think that I wouldn't mind having half her style, either now or when I turn 80 either! Clearly Iris Apfel is one of those people that you have a hard time forgetting. I'm glad that Patti's blog post inspired me to do more research on Iris Apfel. I have an eye examination tomorrow. Maybe I'll start with new glasses!


  1. Clearly someone who knows just who she is. Great photos and info. Thanks for sharing.

  2. smiles...i def hope i am still that stylish at 80...i love her glasses...and all the bright colors...i dont know that i knew her before but i do now...

  3. Goodness me, that is lot of jewellery! Brilliant though, and very New York don't you think? - so many influences that it must be impossible not to physically take on mixed aspects of all that cultural wealth.

  4. I love everything about this lady. Her external style and her internal desire to be herself.

  5. Hi Teri. She definitely is a beauty. Reminds me of the blog Advanced Style with Ari Seth Cohen who interviews "advanced" women so to speak. He has a book coming May 22nd I believe that shows all the beautiful women he interviews and very similar to the beautiful woman you have here. Loved your post. Take care.

    If you'd like to visit his blog, here is the link:

  6. Great shots. Those bracelets look like they could give on carpel tunnel.

  7. Iris is 90 years old and I saw her interviewed this morning on the TV. She is such an inspiration to those of us who are heading in that direction.
    She is the new model for the "older woman".
    I agree that starting with new glasses is a good idea although, stunning on her, they might be a bit much on the average person. LOL!
    Great photos of her.

  8. Farmlady---You're right about her age! I see now that she was born August 29, 1921 which makes her 91! This makes her story even more incredible, don't you think??

  9. I watched her during a "Today" interview ... stunning is right! I zeroed in on her shoes in the second photo ~~ I want a pair! At the age of 70 I can only hope to live as long, love as long, enjoy as long.