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95-Year-Old Jewish Designer Iris Apfel on Aging Gracefully: ‘Get Up Off Your Butt & Do Something’

iris apfel

via Instagram

Iris Apfel tells it like it is. This doesn’t come as a surprise, considering she’s 95 years old and has lived through everything from World War II to the ’60s sexual revolution to the strange technologically savvy age we’re in now. Clearly, she has a lot of sage advice.

Recently, Elle interviewed Apfel about her new fashion collaboration with Macy’s called INC. When the magazine asked what her favorite fashion decade is, she aptly responded:

“I never think that way. I think trends are ridiculous. You should look in the mirror and know who you are and dress for you and not dress in what they tell you to put on.” 

Truer words have never been said about fashion–and really, that could be applied to anything in someone’s life, whether it’s about finding the right partner, job, or city. She is always seen in her huge signature glasses, which illustrates that Apfel definitely knows who she is–and has for awhile.

When it comes to her new line, which is comprised of 40 pieces, everything is under $200, which is pretty awesome for those of us who don’t have huge allowances for the latest pieces. She stated:

“Everything I have on is INC! I love all the pieces [in the collection]. Great designs, wonderful fit, I can’t get over the way they fit and the quality of the fabric. And the pricing—nothing is over $200!”

Besides her new line, as if that’s not enough, she’s also currently designing a jewelry line for HSN, a line of emojis (!), and still occasionally models. It’s kind of amazing how she’s able to balance it all–when asked about how she stays so active at 95, she wryly said:

“Stay interested, get up off your butt and do something!”

Too true, for any age. If you’re curious about her emojis, you can download them for your smartphone keyboard:

I want everybody to have a good time. @incinternationalconcepts @macys #irismeetsinc#incstyle

A video posted by Iris Apfel 👓💄 (@iris.apfel) on

What I love most about Apfel’s fashion advice is the fact that she doesn’t believe in a bad outfit:

“I never thought about it but, why not? There are good things and bad things—there are good and bad in everything, why should an outfit be different?

It depends on the person who’s wearing it. Clothes are often good and bad in relation to the person who’s wearing them. Some people can get away with things that would make somebody else look like a horse’s ass.”

Thank you all ❤️ Photo by: @shanedrummondphoto @incinternationalconcepts #irismeetsinc

A photo posted by Iris Apfel 👓💄 (@iris.apfel) on

When it comes to advice for young fashionistas and designers, Apfel encourages individuality, which she believes is lacking in our current climate:

“I’d tell them to know who they are—what they look like, what they’re comfortable with. Individuality is so important, I think that’s been lost.”

Can’t argue with her there. Check out her new collection, “The Iris Meets INC” now available exclusively at Macy’s stores and on their website. Check out a piece from her new collection below (worn by the goddess herself…and my personal style hero):

“Iris X Inc” Clothing & Accessories at

A photo posted by Iris Apfel 👓💄 (@iris.apfel) on

Read More:

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The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. Comments are moderated, so use your inside voices, keep your hands to yourself, and no, we're not interested in herbal supplements.

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