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10 Pick Me Up Quotes From The Iconic Iris Apfel

The visionary just became a centenarian!

Iris Apfel is the American fashion icon best known for her quirky black round rimmed glasses, and her bold statement style. The style maven, often seen in stacks of statement jewels and bold colors, is one of the fashion industry’s oldest tastemakers, and has just celebrated her 100th birthday last week on August 29.

In the late 50s she founded an international fabric manufacturing company with her late husband, and her unique style and tastes led her to become renowned as a tastemaker all over the world.

Apfel worked as interior designer for nine U.S presidents including the Kennedys to the Clintons, earning her the nickname “First Lady of Fabric.”

New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art curated a Bergdorf Goodman collection featuring the Apfel. Among her many accolades, the star of an Emmy nominated documentary was also the head of MAC cosmetics campaign at 90.

The visionary, whose motto is “more is more & less is a bore,” continues to stand out with her bright and eclectic sartorial choices. The style icon pulls off brightly colored chunky jewelry to complement her flamboyant sense of style. With her no-nonsense attitude, flair for fashion and individuality, and self-confidence, we’ve gathered together some of her most iconic words of fashion wisdom, and looks to match, to celebrate her 100th birthday…  

1 of 10

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

2 of 10

“There is really no substitute for experience. You must have experience and be open to experience — that helps. That helps a lot. Most importantly, you have to be yourself, be who you are and take time to be open and honest with yourself. That is what it’s all about. If you don’t know yourself, you’ll never have great style. You’ll never really live. To me, the worst fashion faux pas is to look in the mirror, and not see yourself.”

3 of 10

“What’s my style is not your style, and I don’t see how you can define it. It’s something that expresses who you are in your own way.”  

4 of 10

“If it’s going to stress you out to have a sense of style, don’t do it. The important thing is to be comfortable so you can get on with your life. But I do feel — people miss a lot, if that’s how they approach style. They miss out on this whole creative experience.”  

5 of 10

“I am inspired by everything around me. It’s not like I stand out on the moors or any of that romantic crap they throw around. I’m just inspired by being alive and breathing and meeting people and talking to people and doing things and absorbing what’s happening. I think if more people did that, there would be better fashion.“

6 of 10

“I don’t have any rules, because I’d only be breaking them.”  

7 of 10

“I never felt pretty, I don’t feel pretty now; I’m not a pretty person. I don’t like pretty, so I don’t feel badly. And I think it worked out well, because… when you’re somebody like myself, in order to get around and be attractive, you have to develop something, you have to learn something, and have to do something, so you become a bit more interesting. And when you get older, you get by on that. Anyway, I don’t happen to like pretty. Most of the world is not with me, but I don’t care.”

8 of 10

“Fashion you can buy, but style you possess. The key to style is learning who you are, which takes years. There’s no how-to road map to style. It’s about self-expression and, above all, attitude.”

9 of 10

“When the fun goes out of dressing, you might as well be dead. You need to pursue your own fancy.” 

10 of 10

“You have to look in the mirror and see yourself. If it feels good, then I know it’s for me. I don’t dress to be stared at, I dress for myself.”

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