60 Seconds With Iris Apfel

irisopener
When it comes to arm parties — and shoulder parties, neck parties, head parties, really any kind of party — Iris Apfel knows what she's talking about. She's the original man repeller, always clad in ten of everything and sparkling like a holiday window. We caught up with the queen of personal style at the launch of her new handbag collection at Bloomingdale's and, wouldn't you know, she gives quite an interview...
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Where did your love for accessories begin?
"Well, I grew up with it! Accessories are very transformative. They can change an entire outfit. And I love handbags. Voilà."
What is your favorite item you've ever owned?
"That’s a dopey question. If you have 12 children, which one is your favorite? It depends on the time and mood and everything. I don’t buy anything I don’t love."
Do you have a current obsession in your closet?
"I don’t get obsessed with things like that. There are too many important things in the world."
What’s your one tip for staying young at heart?
"I never think about it. I operate on the way I feel. I don’t think about this. It’s ridiculous."
What do you think about?
"Oh my God, everything. The world is a big place. It depends on where I am and where I’m going and what I have to do. I love to think."
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How is fashion different today than it was 20 or 40 years ago?
"There’s no comparison. I mean, clothes are no longer structured. Clothes are just kinda slapped together. It’s a whole different world.
So, you'd say the quality of clothing today is much lower than it was in the past?
"Oh my God. I mean, absolutely. Go look at some clothes even made twenty years ago and look at them today. There is no construction. You pay a lot of money. And the quality and fabric, everything — they cost 10 times as much. It’s very sad."
Do you prefer to buy vintage over new clothing?
"Well, I buy whatever I like and fortunately I don’t need too much. If I walk in and see something that I love, I’ll buy it."
Is there a particular up-and-coming designer you're optimistic about?
"I’ve been so busy in the last couple of years doing all my work, I really haven’t had enough time to follow as much as I could. I hope to get to it. I’m sure there will be a lot of wonderful young people popping up."
Photo: Lexi Nisita.
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