Iris Apfel has criticised the fashion industry for being “youth obsessed”.
The 94-year-old American businesswoman became an iconic figure in fashion almost 11 years ago when The Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York hosted an exhibition about her style entitled ‘Rara Avis (Rare Bird): The Irreverent Iris Apfel’.
Although she was championed for her clothing choices at the age of 83, Iris insists elderly people are not the only forgotten age bracket, those who are middle-aged are neglected because fashion is “obsessed” with youth.
Speaking to The Daily Telegraph newspaper, Iris – who is famous for wearing round-rimmed oversized glasses, a fully stacked wrist of jewellery and bold patterned garments – said: “The fashion industry doesn’t just forget old people, it forgets middle-aged people.
“The fashion industry is youth obsessed, which is totally insane from a financial point of view so I don’t feel sorry for them, they brought it on themselves.”
The star – who was an interior designer in her earlier years – returned to the fore after appearing on the Citroen DS3 commercial and has since starred in campaigns for Kate Spade alongside 22-year-old Karlie Kloss, as well as other luxury brands & Other stories and MAC Cosmetics.
Speaking about her dislike for the industry she became immersed in after retirement age and its misdirected audience, she said: “Many top designers will make very, very expensive dresses costing many, many thousands of dollars that young people can’t afford.
“They make these dresses on 16 year old bodies that can be purchased by women over 65/75 – those are the women in our country anyhow with the spendable income and the time and money to go shopping and they want to buy beautiful things, but it’s very hard to find things that are suitable for them. It doesn’t make any sense.”
Iris also opened up on her own individual look and is adamant that people must find their own individual style.
The straight-talking New Yorker said: “If people try to look like me they’ll look ridiculous. They should think about who they are and learn how to think for themselves. Everybody today is like a robot, and I don’t want to be part of that. It’s about what you like and makes you comfortable. If you can’t be yourself then just forget it.”