Iris Apfel

Iris Apfel (August 29, 1921–March 1, 2024), the renowned American businesswoman, interior designer, and fashion icon, was also a prolific collector of and authority on antique textiles. In 1950, she, with her husband, Carl, founded Old World Weavers, an international textile manufacturing company specializing in reproducing antique fabrics. She was a consultant to the White House for nine presidential administrations and produced fabric that still hangs in the Gold Room today. In 2005, the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art staged Rara Avis, a blockbuster exhibit of her clothing and accessories, making her the first living person who was not a fashion designer to be so honored. In 2014, she was the subject of director Albert Maysles’s award-winning film Iris. An associate professor at the University of Texas, she was the recipient of numerous awards, including a special award from the Women Together Foundation at the United Nations for her lifelong dedication and support of artisans around the world. In 2018, at the age of ninety-six, she was the oldest person to be turned into a Barbie doll. In 2023, at the age of 102, Iris wrote Iris Apfel: Colorful, to be published by Abrams in August 2024, in celebration of what would have been her 103rd birthday.