While browsing fashion websites, I was struck by the image of a small, stern-looking woman with enough jewelry to hold an exhibit. The lady is, of course, Iris Apfel, 90 years old and still dynamically in her trade.
Her reputation as a high-profile jewelry designer is impeccable- her originality and creativity are well-loved by celebrities and royalty.
Last year, she was invited to design jewelry for the iconic Alexis Bittar and HSN. Now, Yoox is collaborating with her on another exciting project. She was commissioned to create a more affordable line starting from just $45!
Alexander Wang and Iris Apfel at the 2011 CFDA Fashion Awards at Alice Tully Hall in The Lincoln Center in New York City on June 6, 2011 (Credit: Flashpoint / WENN)
Iris Apfel reminisces about her mother’s elegance and influence on her style. She describes how her mother skillfully transformed a simple black dress into a stunning evening outfit using accessories.
Born Iris Barrel on August 29, 1921, in Astoria, Queens, New York, Iris Apfel comes from an Ashkenazi Jewish background, with her father being of Russian Jewish descent from Brooklyn and her mother a Russian Jewish immigrant. Iris was married to Carl Apfel, with whom she ran a successful textile business. Their partnership continued until his passing.
As a child I watched every day as my very chic ‘maman’ worshipped at the altar of the Accessory. Like a shaman stylist, she worked her magic, transforming her workaday black dress into a smashing cocktail outfit. Her talismans were shoes and scarves, bags and belts, but most important was her costume jewelry collection… her bits and baubles, bangles and beads. Slowly I began to appreciate their powers of transformation, their ability to evoke a mood and express an individual personality, to make a statement about the wearer.
The Iris Apfel and Yoox collaboration offers a diverse selection of jewelry to suit various budgets and tastes. The line included ready-to-wear pieces, exclusive high-end items, and selections from Apfel’s collection. The designs are characterized by their bold and graphic nature, primarily made from natural materials, embodying Apfel’s unique sense of style and panache
1. Multiple-strand lasso necklace of faux smoky topaz, jet, filigree, and marcasite beads, with a gilt cord loop, $1,450 / 2. Vintage bust brooch with jeweled bodice and turban, $1,200 / 3. Horn cuff set with a Maltese cross in jeweled cabochons and crystals, $795 / 4. Large round clip-on earrings of carved faux coral edged in gold metal, $1,250 / 5. Bakelite “billiard ball” necklace with resin pendants–one of three Iris wore all together, $3,500 / 6. Necklace of large gold metal links and carved faux red coral medallion, bracketed by faux jade stations, $1,250 / 7. “Atomic” bracelet of spun silver metal tubes with acrylic beads of different colors, $850