The Chatroom: Iris Apfel

Leandra Medine | November 17, 2014

New Video Monday! Leandra sits down with the style & textile icon.

If it is true that style mirrors youth and fashion mirrors age, it is also inevitable that one has nothing to do with the other.

Fashion might be a vehicle that pronounces style and age might be a detail that is frequently used to describe the boundaries of youth, but fundamentally: to be stylish or conversely, to be youthful are states of mind informed by experience and attitude that are divorced from anything tangible.

By the rules of this theory, that makes our Chatroom subject, Iris Apfel, who is 94 years old, approximately 18 years young.

In the episode, we sit down with the arm party’s original gangster, previous White House decorator and 67-year marriage veteran to listen as she recalls a different New York (as in, one devoid of bridges), discusses her jewelry sale with One Kings Lane (call it an opportunity to share in her history and she might call your effort too erudite — it’s about having nice things) and provides some important advice to relay to all aspects of our lives — we’ll never make it out without a sense of humor.

So, watch and chat, call me later.

Oh! And yes, that is her natural hair color.

  • Thank you so much for this beautiful, beautiful little video, Team MR. Iris Apfel has won over all of our hearts, and she belongs to such a select breed of NY Woman. You know, I think this is why Advanced Style is such an important concept/project — to bring light and admiration to these women who do not act, in any way, indebted to age or era, is so important for the women of younger generations to see. Life moves dangerously quickly and in some ways death is dancing gently over the heads of these older women, so it is the documentation of their collective wisdom, their spirits, their style, their eccentricity, that we must hold so dear.

    There are some very serious setbacks to growing up in our world today — freak diseases, a burning earth, hunger, poverty, the list goes on and on — but there have always been setbacks, and if we (the younger generations) can at all preserve and exemplify this joie de vivre, then we have the power to positively impact our little corners of the earth. Local —> global.

    Here’s to you, Ms. Iris! X

    • I think you should buy a bean bag chair for watching these beautiful videos.

      • Schoonder

        Hahaha this would be so much better if you were just a bean bag chair enthusiast.

  • Love her.

  • Beautiful video. I often get scared of growing old, but when I see women like her it always gives me faith that growing old can also be fun and beautiful.

    • Yes!! and it kinds of make you look forward to it!!

  • Quinn Halman

    I particularly like what you wrote about age and clothes. I’ll often have disputes with my mother about whether something is “too mature”. This can mean I look like a streetwalker or an office secretary. I then remind her that we share clothes and taste despite our 30 year age difference. Further, when Iris spoke about knowing yourself and seeing yourself in the mirror, it resonated. Perhaps I am part of a generation that is so focussed on getting ahead or being the next “big thing” that we (or I) lose sight of who we are today, in this very moment.

  • Natali

    SICK video!! LOVE IT!! She’s such a special human!

  • Luarnaiz

    “I think its better to be happy than well dressed”.

    She´s amazing. This is a great video.

  • lavieenliz

    she’s so cool!! omg I wanna be like her at 93!

    giveaway on my blog!

  • Tamlyn

    If I can get to 93 and still think about what I want to be when I grow up, I’ll be the happiest woman alive.

  • Anna


  • Amelia Diamond

    ugh she’s so cool

  • Cristina Feather

    LOVE HER so, so much!!! She’s amazing. I wish we could have had more, this video is too short! Hugs and kisses from Romania

  • this was just so darling

  • Zola

    I love how she still thinks about what she wants to be when she grows up. Just goes to show that, contrary to what society is pressuring us to do -which is to figure out exactly what/who we want to be at such a young age- we are constantly evolving and our passions/interests may change along the way. So instead we should focus on actively pursuing them… ahhh she makes my heart smile 🙂

    • Zola

      also love that you asked that question Leandra!

  • moviemum

    Delightful! And I love how you were a teeny bit reserved in that vid. Totally letting her (how can you not!) take the stage.

  • everyone needs a little iris apfel in their lives. perfect grey, monday morning viewing….


  • She also made me realize there must be at least two ways of knowing oneself … I am quite sure I knew all that was to know about myself personally at some time in my twenties and could spend my energy on more important topics after that, but sartorially … I sure hope I won’t get banned from this blog if I tell you I have just discovered (during the last year or two) who I want to be fashion-wise (most of it is hidden in the fuggly word “basic”, but quite some of it is exciting and new even to myself) …

  • This was such a great little video. Short, sweet, and filled with amazing tidbits to take away. I love her advice about knowing yourself, looking in the mirror and knowing who the person staring out at you is.

  • CarlotaLMorais

    BRAVO BRAVO BRAVO! Your best guest and video yet. She is very unique, she’s stunning! Best duo, you should be best friends. Arm party sisters!

  • Apartment Diet

    Thank you for sharing! So gorgeous and inspiring – and wise words! Know thy self and don’t take it to seriously…ps love it so much have to share with our peeps- will be adding this to our weekend links on Friday on our blog.

  • lynnie

    love her!!!!!

  • Andrea Vasquez M.

    My fave so far! Sei mitica LM!

  • AHHHH I am so jealous! I hope to be as fabulous as her when I grow up


  • Aydan

    I’m obsessed with her. It also makes me want to upgrade my glasses stat!

  • Amalie

    She is such a lovely woman. My question is how she still manage to look so good, and have that sense of humor at 93 years xx

  • Thank you so much again for the wonderful time at Valentino! I remember telling you how amazing The Chatroom video series were, but this is something else. Best guest so far! It is great to have the chance to get to know a little bit of an icon like Iris Apfel.

  • Lou

    I love this so much. Please more interviews with extraordinary women like her!

  • Ciccolini Ricearoni

    Two of my favourite people on earth in one place.
    Love this talkie and what you both said. Beautiful piece. Thanks Team MR:)

  • deb

    The Queen of Arm Candy–we bow to you in reverence, Iris.

  • Tina

    I absolutely love this! Brilliant job. I want more. I want Iris and Leandra to take a road trip together and have it all filmed from the back seat.

  • Mel

    love love love her

  • Hope

    I have always loved the incredible, unique style of Iris Apfel. Thank you for sharing her spirit in your fab video.

  • AlexaJuno

    To answer your earlier question, I would like to be HER when I grow up.

    • Charlotte Fassler


  • I have always deeply admired the unique eccentricity of Iris Apfel. Love how you featured ageless beauty. Your fab lil’ video was fantastic. Thank you!

  • Glenda Harrison

    I adore her. Thank you for interviewing such an inspiring woman.

  • What a woman! Won my heart in 2 minutes flat :’)

  • Modern Mèlange

    Oh Iris- she has always been an inspiration for me. Always with a sharp quick tongue and with absolute elegance and grace. I truly admire this brilliant “approximate 18 year old”!

  • starryhye

    Could Iris be any more adorable!? I so love her quirky style and hope to be just like her when I grow up 😉

  • Accidental Icon

    Not only did I love the video because I love her (and I have been told by many a shop assistant that I am like a young Iris Apfel) but I loved reading the comments about how much all of you are inspired by women like Iris (who makes me know I still have about 30 years to grow up) and potentially myself, the Accidental Icon. Through my blog, my wish is to help younger people not be scared of getting older because you can still be pretty damn cool, pretty damn funny and still be an urban poetess like me.

    Accidental Icon

  • ihavenobones

    She pronounces “mirror” like my deceased grandmother. I miss New Yorkers like her. You know, Jewish grandmothers with style. Can’t wait to be one.

  • She’s awesome. Her advice about not taking things too seriously is so important, but what she said about knowing yourself first really resonated with me.

  • Dawn

    She really brought it to the interview–humor, quips, glamour. The visual was such a dichotomy between the two of you in age, and in dress. When I see others chat with her, it so often tips over into condescension because they treat Iris in an infantile way. While you asked for her advise, thanks for treating her just like one of the MR gals.

  • caroline rahmey

    So good, there is no one like her! 2 1/2 min is not enough! I want more!

  • She is so cute! She reminds me of my grandma, except she’d be saying all of this in spanish. What an inspiration! Definitely a young soul <3

  • FGoncalves

    Loved the chat. Thank you.

  • That was a fabulous and extremely enjoyable little interview. I love both of you and your diferent yet similar sense of fashion. Keep on with the awesome work MR!!!

  • Flavia

    She’s my favourite person in the whole world. Look at those glasses.

  • Maria

    Too short of a video… I could have sat down through an hour conversation… Loved it

  • Lebo

    Oh wow! What a cool video, thoroughly enjoyed it!

  • Brandy

    stahhhppp. i’m dying from adoration.

  • This new chatroom series is really a fantastic way to get in the mind set of icons like Iris Apfel. Your interviews are not forced, rather they are intimate and fresh.

    Looking forward to the next installment

  • this was such a great video! Iris Apfel is just too wonderful!

  • Hereshoping Themayanswereright

    Absolutely ADORE her!!

  • without words, such inspiration

  • Haha, “(..)except in the closet”. She’s such an inspiring woman! Nay, lady. If I’m only 50% as cool when I’m 93, I’ll be more than happy…

    Some dope arm party going on there, by the way!

  • Tara Kun

    This is just so stupidly lovely. And by “stupidly” I mean harshly charming with just the right amount of zeal hidden under all of that animal.

  • She’s incredible! Thank you for this!!

  • such a great woman i love her,a sense of style
    Yael Guetta

  • Damielled

    Imagine if Iris was your nanna – if you are out there Apfel grandchild you are the luckiest person in the word! Give her a hug for all of us please! x

  • murt

    OMG – this is awesome – thanks for doing this!

  • SubhumanMutant

    I grew up with 8 wicked stepsisters, so ‘Man Repeller’ doesn’t seem to work on me. I feel like one of my stepsisters is going to come in and hurt me now.

  • MasterKeynesian

    I’m a man and I am absolutely repelled. Lol.

  • handMODE

    ABSOLUMENT GENIAL!!!! Mrs Apfel is tremendous, I wish she wears my cuffs!!!! <3 Merci and love from France 😀

  • Ajnira Muminovic

    I watched this, but I still love watching it over and over again, she is timeless.

  • I feel like I’ve been waiting for this forever. I adore Iris.

  • Karel Paragh

    This is a great short video. I like it. Regards, Karel paragh