With her new film in UK cinemas this week, nonagenarian style icon Iris Apfel is captivating audiences with her whip-smart wit and style, not to mention the true-love story with her husband Carl. We caught up with the New York entrepreneur to talk about her ageless style, deafening jewellery and cosmetic surgery - oh, and several First Ladies.
Why does fashion suddenly love bright old things?
It is brands wising up to the fact that pretty young things don’t have the money to buy expensive products and the older population has got the expendable income, the time and desire to go shopping and indulge. They have been grossly overlooked for many years. It’s insanity to show these luxury products on a 12-and-a-half-year-old who has been photoshopped. It’s ridiculous. Older women don’t look like that; they can’t relate to that. Brands cut off their noses to spite their faces and they're wising up to it. There are plenty of attractive, older women who want to stay attractive.
Do you mind talking about your age?
Why should I mind? I’m 93 and proud of it. If God is good enough to let you live that long, glory in it. Don’t try to say 'I’m 62!', 'I’m a baby!'. I don’t know why women deny their age. I’m very opposed to it.
Would you ever have plastic surgery?
I’m violently opposed to it. Why rely on something so artificial? If you want to improve yourself do something in your head not on your head. God put plastic surgeons on this earth to help people who need them. People who have been disfigured in accidents, who have been in a fire or if you have a nose like Pinocchio and you need to get it fixed. For an ordinary woman who just wants to change the way she looks – no. I have seen cases of people looking like a Picasso painting. It costs a fortune and there is no guarantee of the results. If you are doing it just to look young, your hands will always give the game away. Besides your friends know your age - if you're 75 and all of sudden you turn 35 - they're going to wonder.
How do you keep young?
I just live. I do my own thing. I am very busy. I do charity work, I design several lines that I peddle on the home shopping network, I have a collection for MAC cosmetics, I have an eye-glass collection, I do a mentoring programme at the University of Texas, I write articles – I do too much.
What does your husband, Carl make of it all?
My husband isn’t very well. He had his 100th birthday and he can’t do much socially, so I’ve stepped up. I like to be busy, occupied and a part of this world. Age is just a number. I know people half my age who act twice my age.