This year, Footwear News is presenting an Icon of the Year Award for the first time — largely because no one in the industry has had as great an impact as Iris Apfel in influencing style.
“She has almost 100 years of wisdom, experience, travels and design and creativity. Who else can say that?” said HSN’s CEO Mindy Grossman, who has worked with Apfel on a number of projects, including an exclusive holiday gift and home collection called Rara Avis by Iris Apfel. “Iris knows what she wants, has a keen eye and generates an incredible flow of ideas.”
And it’s not just fashion that Apfel has been involved in. She’s done ads for Finlandia vodka and Citroën cars and curated a line of must-buys for Macy’s. “She has an innate sense of style that multiple generations of women admire and relate to. She has an infectious charisma and isn’t afraid to speak her mind,” said Nancy Slavin, senior vice president of marketing for Macy’s Merchandising Group.
So what is style to the former interior designer? “Style is attitude, attitude, attitude,” said Apfel. “Style, from my point of view, cannot be learned. It has to be cultivated, but it has to be in your DNA.”
Check out more on the inimitable Iris Apfel in our video.