Iris Apfel, a fashion celebrity and icon known for her eccentric style, has died. She was 102.

No cause of death was given. 

Lori Sale, Apfel’s agent, confirmed her death with The Associated Press. Her passing was also announced on her Instagram page, which had nearly 3 million followers. 

“Iris Barrel Apfel. August 29, 1921 – March 1, 2024,” the social media post stated. 


She reportedly died at her Palm Beach, Florida, home. 

Born Aug. 29, 1921, Apfel was famous for her irreverent, eye-catching outfits, mixing haute couture and oversized costume jewelry. A classic Apfel look would, for instance, pair a feather boa with strands of chunky beads, bangles and a jacket decorated with Native American beadwork.

With her big, round, black-rimmed glasses, bright red lipstick and short white hair, she stood out at every fashion show she attended. 

“I’m not pretty, and I’ll never be pretty, but it doesn’t matter,” she once said. “I have something much better. I have style.”


Apfel amassed a large collection of clothing and accessories, prompting the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York to open an exhibition of her wardrobe. The exhibit, which opened in 2005, was titled: “Rara Avis: Selections From the Iris Apfel Collection.”

Apfel was an expert on textiles and antique fabrics. She and her husband Carl owned a textile manufacturing company, Old World Weavers, and specialized in restoration work, including projects at the White House under six different U.S. presidents. 

Her celebrity clients included Estée Lauder and Greta Garbo.

In her later years, Apfel appeared in ads for brands like M.A.C. cosmetics and Kate Spade. 

She also designed a line of accessories and jewelry for Home Shopping Network, collaborated with H&M on a sold-out-in-minutes collection of brightly-colored apparel, jewelry and shoes, put out a makeup line with Ciaté London, an eyeglass collection with Zenni and partnered with Ruggable on floor coverings.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.