Iris Apfel
Iris Apfel is an inspiration. Courtesy of Iris Apfel

In an industry that often cherishes youth, Iris Apfel is an inspiration. Between her colorful outfits, her infectious smile and those instantly recognizable black glasses, she's in a league all her own. So we join with others in mourning her passing yesterday at the age of 102.

Iris came from an art background, studying art history at New York University before heading to University of Wisconsin's art school. She went on to work for interior designer Elinor Johnson and Women's Wear Daily. Her career took many twists and turns. She became illustrator Robert Goodman's assistant and then created textile firm Old World Weavers with her husband Carl Apfel.

But Iris morphed into a true fashion icon in her later years. She starred in a MAC Cosmetics campaign plus has been the subject of several books and museum exhibitions. Iris appeared in Vogue Italia and landed a Dazed magazine cover at the young age of 91.

She broke boundaries and influenced countless fashion fans. She will be dearly missed, but her legacy will live on.

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