At 97, Iris Apfel has lived an extremely colourful life. From running several businesses – including textile company, Old World Weavers, with her late husband Carl Apfel for over four decades – to her involvement in interior design projects, such as decorating the White House for nine successive US presidents, she has done it all. Her book Iris Apfel: Accidental Icon is further indication of this.
Last year, Mattel created the Apfel Barbie doll, making her the oldest person to have ever had a Barbie made in her image. She is also signed to one of the world’s most elite modelling agencies IMG, has over a million followers on Instagram and has collaborated with a number of well known brands throughout her career.
Her latest collaboration is with Istanbul-based, luxury glassware brand, Nude. At first glance, this partnership may seem out of sorts as Nude’s minimalist ethos of ‘simple is beautiful’ doesn’t necessarily seem aligned with Apfel’s flamboyant style. But after having had the pleasure of attending the launch and meeting the fashion icon, it becomes more apparent how these two unlikely brands have managed to form such a cohesive partnership.
Over lunch she explained: “As you can see I am hardly a minimalist, I love to layer accessories and dress in colour, but that does not mean I don’t think simple. Nude is my simplicity, simplicity is a state of mind and I think simple is beautiful”.
Certainly, Nude’s decision to collaborate with Iris is a gentle nod to its own decadent side. Members of Soho House and frequenters of the Edition hotels will already have sipped on cocktails and champagne from the brand’s tumblers, flutes and stemware.
Nude is set to launch a series of striking collections with this year-long global campaign, including a range of customised collectibles inspired by Iris’s indomitable, instantly recognisable style. Of particular note will be Tomas Kral’s ‘Beak’ collection, reimagined in acid bright colours and bold stripes and a lead-free crystal ‘Iris Apfel Paperweights’ which will feature her iconic round black specs and red lipstick (her ability to apply lipstick swiftly and without a mirror was indeed quite incredible). As well as this, Nude will release an Iris doll, designed by Harry Allen but with the added and hotly anticipated ‘Iris’ treatment.
View the full collection at www.nudeglass.com