she’s a legend at any age


hi guys, happy memorial day weekend! how’s life? that’s such a simple question but one i’ve been thinking a lot about lately. i have to admit i fell into a rut over the last year, maybe it was a mid-life crisis turning 50? but that page has turned, thank god! maybe it was my dad jokingly referring to me as an aging doyenne the other day or maybe it was seeing this fantastic film last night that finally snapped me out of it…forever.


i’m sure you know iris apfel who was recently referred to as a geriatric starlet, a term she loves and uses at the ripe ol’ age of 95. her husband is 100 but these two have more passion for life than most 20 year olds. there are hundreds of interviews and documentaries out there with accounts of her life, her travels and accomplishments, some of which i’ve included links to below. but here i just wanted to profile her and pass on a little of her pixie dust which she sprinkled on me just by watching the film about her. just knowing she’s out there was like waking up to life all over again and i thank her for that.

Screen Shot 2015-05-23 at 6.09.13 PM




age is not in any way an issue for her, life is. she’s so alive and doesn’t cease to seize every opportunity. she has an insatiable curiosity for culture, play, books, friends, experiences, ideas and travel. and her sense of humor is priceless. she’s sharp, direct and makes no apologies.




i loved finding these old photos of her world travels, it inspired me to really document the great moments roaming around. her husband took most of these. he said he loved watching her, and that she was the first one at the markets and the last one to leave. he adores her and is as fascinated by her today as the day they were married.




check her out selling on one king’s lane



and as a spokesperson for mac cosmetics…in her 90s


she’s a living legend who never let anything stop her or stand in her way from living every moment to the fullest…till it bursts!


she’s been honored for her style at the met and in bergdorf’s windows


IrisApfelQuote1Screen Shot 2015-05-21 at 7.01.25 PM

her closet is filled with fun, inspiring colors, the finest fabrics, embroidery and exquisite weaves. and each has a story to tell.


funny how something as simple as her glasses helped to shape her iconic look




this woman has made a real impact on me and my life. she’s inspired me to rethink the way i live, the way i see it and the reverence i should have for it every day in every way. i adore you, iris and when i grow up want to be just like you!

May 23, 2015. Tags: . Decorating, Design, Designers, Iris Apfel.


  1. Sabrina Brown replied:

    Hi Claudia, a few years ago when I was approaching 50, (I turn 55 tomorrow) I looked to Ruth Gorden as a mature role model — so I love that you love Iris Apfel — they’re the same kind of people!


  2. resurgee replied:

    Great post. She’s an inspiration. Thanks!


  3. Mom replied:

    wow – I hope I make it that far and beyond with as much aplomb.


  4. april replied:

    This just made my entire day!!!!!


  5. Shell Sherree replied:

    She’s one of those people who makes me feel like anything is possible !! Thank you for the inspiring post, Claudia.


    • The Paris Apartment replied:

      That’s how she made me feel too, Shell…no boundries and no limits except what we impose on ourselves~


  6. Nikon replied:

    Stunning collection of photos and sketches, Claudia!
    She certainly is unique!


    • The Paris Apartment replied:

      Yes she’s quite a colorful character and completely unique…like all of us could be if we’d allow ourselves to be ourselves!


  7. Candy replied:

    Beautiful blog!

    Sent from my iPhone



  8. Rita C at Panoply replied:

    Iris is awesome, and reminds me soo much of my own mother who, RIP, died 7 years ago at 87 ( a freak car accident while on the way to meet friends for lunch). My mom would dress to the nines every day, even if she was just going to the post office. She wore heels almost always (said flats made her feet hurt), except when she went to the Dr., then she’d wear 1″ wedges. :) Thanks for sharing this.


  9. Sand Salt Moon replied:



  10. Karena Albert replied:

    Claudia I adore Iris, she is such a iconic figure in fashion and has the best attitude on style ever!!
    Have a wondrous weekend!
    The Arts by Karena


  11. iolacontessa replied:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!50 is okay……….I am turning 55 in two months and THAT is one year that is hard to take!I saw HER movie last week!I adored it.She is an older version of myself…………loved her being wheeled into a HARLEM SHOP!!!SHe still has the PASSION……….which makes one happy!SO, many women of my age want to get rid of things………….how sad.Let them do it when your gone unless you get PLEASURE out of passing out your goods……………..I LOVE the old photos YOU found of HER.I will keep this POST and peek at it often………SO SORRY I missed the LIPSTICK for MAC.DO you think its still around?I need to investigate……..HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY!Come visit me at THEVINTAGECONTESSA.NET and tell me if I remind YOU of IRIS…….just a wee little bit!!!


    • The Paris Apartment replied:

      thank you for your sweet comment…I went to your site and have to say yes, I do see quite a rresemblance in your styles!


  12. Maria replied:

    Thank you for the amazing post. So Inspiring! when I grow up I want to be just like her.


  13. e.k. replied:

    One of the old photos is actually of the hieress and designer MILLICENT ROGERS, who was one of Iris’ style icons.


  14. MJH DesignArts replied:

    ME TOO. I love Iris. She inspires me to be free. Thanks for the additional details about her life. Mary


  15. Laurie Harrison replied:

    I am now dying to see the film. She’s been an inspiration for years but as we get older, she gets better!!!


  16. Who Are Your Role Models? | Trueheart Gal replied:

    […] Iris Apfel is an inspiration. […]


  17. Ann Travis replied:

    Closer to home…my role models are the European immigrant women in my life, my mom, my grandmother and my aunt, who instilled in me the fortitude to face adversity with hope and strength.
    I have long embraced the idea of saying “yes”! I also like to ask myself “why not?”…which almost always solidifies the decision to “say yes”!


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