At 100, Iris Apfel’s passion for fashion won’t let her retire

Fashion icon Iris Apfel has collaborated with H&M on a new collection that celebrates uniqueness — something the centenarian knows all about.

“I think part of the problem with the way people dress nowadays is that it’s too generic,” Iris told H&M magazine.

“Everyone looks the same, they wear the same things. They wear what’s in fashion, what’s trendy, what they’re being told to wear. That’s terribly dull. I want to see personality.”

Apfel’s sense of style is shown in her new H&M collection. The set is filled with embroidered aqua suits, ruffled jackets and patterned two-piece outfits. H&M describes the collection as, “delightful print clashing, fabulously baroque aesthetics and color, color and more color.”

At 100, Apfel does not plan on stopping. Her work is her life. She started her career as a copywriter for Women’s Wear Daily and worked as an interior designer. After marrying her husband Carl Apfel, the pair opened a textile firm where they held a contract with the White House and created designs for nine presidents, including Georgian Jimmy Carter. According to the Business of Fashion, Apfel described her work in the textile industry as “classic but over the top.”

In 2004 she became an icon after she held an exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art called Rara Avis: Selections from the Iris Barrel Apfel Collection.

“Oh, I love to work. It’s fun because I enjoy it,” Apfel told the Today show.

“And then I can help people. I can give employment. People tell me I inspire them. So many good things come out of it. I think retiring at any age is a fate worse than death. Just because a number comes up doesn’t mean you have to stop.”

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