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In the world of fashion, no name echoes more wonderfully than that of Iris Apfel's. In an interview with WMagazine, celebrating her 100th birthday, Apfel discusses how she celebrates, outfits, her past, and more.


"I woke up in the morning to find my two lovely girls who take care of me had transformed my apartment with hundreds of balloons," said Apfel on how she celebrated her big day. "It was like a balloon forest—all beautiful, bright colors like a jar of jelly beans. I’d gotten so many flowers, there were enough to lay out a mafioso. And the gifts and the telephone calls kept coming. We had my cell, one of their cells, and the house phone. In all, between Sunday and Monday, we had over 100 telephone calls."

When asked about the outfit she reaches for in a pinch, Apfel said, "It used to be blue jeans. I’m probably one of the first women—if not the first woman—in America to wear blue jeans. But lately, I’ve been wearing black tights, which I have in different weights depending on the weather. Plus a black tank top or t-shirt or sweater on top. If it’s really chilly, I’ve done many, many very interesting quilted jackets and tunics over the years. I can dress it up or down with my jewelry."


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Apfel was asked if she ever shopped at H&M, to which she said, "Oh my goodness, yes. I was one of their original customers. I had a call from what was supposed to be the biggest television station in Germany and Austria. They loved my idea of mixing high and low, so they asked if I would spend a day shopping with them if they came to New York. We started with the least expensive clothing—H&M—and from there, we went to Bergdorf Goodman."

When asked about her first major designer purchase, Apfel said, "It was probably my first purchase of clothing period. My mother went back into business when I was about 10 or 11 years old and she had no time for me. It was during the Depression, and she was very, very busy. Easter was coming and I said, Oh my god, I don't have anything to wear. And she said, Well, don’t worry, you’re going to start getting your lessons—I’m going to give you $25 so you can go shopping and buy yourself an outfit. That was the beginning of my black belt career, so I really started from the bottom. I’ve been shopping for myself since I was 11 years old."

Information originally sourced from WMagazine.