Wow, what an amazing journey! Happy 100th Birthday from one native New Yorker to another. My mother's name is Iris as well!
Born Iris Barrel in Astoria, Queens, New York on August 29, 1921, Apfel is the only child of Samuel Barrel, whose family owned a glass and mirror business, and his Russian-born wife, Sadye, who owned a fashion boutique. Although raised on a farm by her parents and grandparents, she often rode the subway in to explore Manhattan, where she fell in love with Greenwich Village. While still a child, she shopped its antique shops, starting her extraordinary collection of jewelry from around the world.
Iris Apfel is an American businesswoman, interior designer, and fashion icon. In business with her husband, Carl, from 1950 to 1992, Apfel had a career in textiles, including a contract with the White House that spanned nine presidencies. In retirement, she drew acclaim for a 2005 show at the Costume Institute at The Metropolitan Museum of Art featuring her collection of costume jewelry and styled with clothes on mannequins as she would wear it. She has become a fashion icon, she signed to IMG in 2019 as a model at age 97 and was featured in a 2014 documentary called Iris by Albert Maysles.
Photo of Iris by Bruce Weber
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