Iris Apfel ’43
This “rare bird” spent a lengthy career in antique textiles and design restoration, but her latest title — fashion icon — has been a lifetime in the making. Since her days as an art-education student, Apfel has been refining a bold personal style, which includes her signature oversized and utterly round eyeglasses. Her wardrobe has inspired a book, an upcoming documentary and a Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibit titled “Rara Avis.”
For Apfel, who ran the international textile house Old World Weavers for more than forty years with her husband, Carl, style isn’t just about clothes. It’s about developing a sense of self-confidence that can spill over to other areas of life. She’s currently crafting accessory lines for older women and inspiring younger fashion gurus, most recently as a visiting professor at the University of Texas at Austin.