Fashion icon Iris Apfel turns 100

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Fashion icon Iris Apfel turns 100

Elderly Jewish fashion star shows no signs of slowing down having signed as a model three years ago

Iris Apfel
Iris Apfel

The Jewish world’s oldest fashion icon turned 100 last week and showed no sign of slowing down, having signed as a model three years ago at the age of 97.

Iris Apfel, whose early career as an interior designer to presidents later morphed into fashion design, worked with her husband Carl for 68 years until his death at the age of 100 in 2015.

She ran a textile firm with him from 1950 to 1992, specialising in fabric reproductions from the past four centuries, with which she took part in design work at the White House for nine presidents, beginning with Truman and ending with Clinton.

Born in Queens, New York, on 29 August 1921 to a Russian-Jewish mother and Jewish glassmaker father, she worked in her parents’ fashion boutique before studying art and marrying Carl during the Second World War.

In 2005, the Metropolitan Museum of Art ran an exhibition of her designs, triggering a busy later life in which she has launched a jewellery start-up, published a biography, attracted 1.7 million Instagram followers, and signed as a model for international agency IMG in 2019.

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: