“The old bag is getting into bags,” laughed Iris Apfel, whose offbeat humor and lightning-quick intellect belies her age.
At 90, the fashionista and “geriatric starlet,” as she likes to call herself, is entering a new phase of her life: handbag designer.
Although Apfel has collaborated on a few bags with HSN, where she has a jewelry line, she has never had her own bag collection until now.
Inspired by her own wardrobe, Apfel has created a collection of exotic handbags, featuring Mongolian lamb, hair calf and snakeskin, which will retail for between $228 and $398.
“It’s well-priced. There’s not much around this price point,” she said. “I’m a great believer that a lot of people on this planet want good design and high quality at a price.”
Apfel’s business partner, Lisa Nunziata, president of L & Leung Design Group, whom Apfel met through HSN chief executive officer Mindy Grossman, was instrumental in developing the unique materials for the accessible collection.
“When I met Iris, I told her I’m the last of a dying breed, and she shot back, ‘If you’re the end of a dying breed, then I must be extinct,’” Nunziata said.
Based on that exchange, the two came up with the collection’s name, Extinctions.
While the name alone delighted Apfel to no end, the duo wanted to drive home its double meaning by selecting evocative hangtags for the bags. At first, they looked into the image of a dinosaur, but it was “unsightly,” Apfel said, so they settled on a dodo bird.
“It’s an odd bird, like me,” explained Apfel, who noted that her favorite piece, a large, red double-handled bag in Mongolian lamb, is also one of the more distinctive looks.
“I’m a color person. I’ve never been known to play it safe,” she said. “Plus I like big bags. My eyeglasses are so big they don’t fit into smaller bags.”
With 12 styles to choose from in five colors, the collection is set to hit better department stores in October. Nunziata and Apfel are already planning on resort and spring collections for next year, which will include unique fabrications, such as bags incorporating handwoven fabric from France.
But for Apfel, the handbag collection is one of many projects she’s juggling.
For 2013, she has designed a line of sunglasses and optical frames with Eyebobs, ranging from $75 to $99. The collection follows a limited-edition frame that she launched with the company this spring.
When she’s not working on fashion projects, Apfel is mentoring students from the University of Texas who are looking to break into the world of fashion and retail. Apfel is also the subject of Albert Maysles’ latest documentary, which is still in the early stages of filming.
“I’m used to living on the edge of a volcano. I love what I do. My life is my work,” Apfel said. “I have a lot of creative juices — I like to use them up or it chokes me.”
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion (📷: Dominique Maître)
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
Not only does #TheProfit return to CNBC tonight, but @marcuslemonis has launched @shopmarcus, a new shopping and lifestyle retail experience in Aspen and Chicago, with more locations to come. The retail stores offer in-store stylists and a variety of contemporary womenswear selections.
“It’s life, I’m going to face it,” @mingxi11 sighed. “I fell, but you know, I think the most important thing is that I get back up. I had the love, the help from my sister — the girl next to me Gizele [Oliveira] — she’s so nice. When I went backstage everybody was trying to comfort me like ‘Oh Ming, it’s OK.’ I’m really, really touched. I think it’s them who gave me the courage to go back on stage for the finale,” Xi told WWD of her fall at the @victoriassecret fashion show. (📷: David Fisher) #wwdfashion #vsfashionshow #victoriassecret
@louisvuitton tapped @therealpeterlindbergh for its latest city-centric photo book, which is part of a series called Fashion Eye. The primarily black and white book captures the spirit of Berlin in 57 images shot between 1989 and 2019. “Berlin is an inspiration for me, more than a city. I mean @millajovovich is simply Berlin!” said Lindbergh. #wwdfashion
“You know, I think audiences expect a certain performance so I have to deliver to them what they’re expecting to a certain degree. But I’m also a different actor and a different person, I have my own spin on the character,” says @noahegalvin of his takeover of the leading role in “Dear Evan Hansen” following the departure of @bensplatt, who originated the role. Read WWD’s interview with the 23-year-old actor on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
For pre-fall 2018, @etro created richly-colored wonderland, using tapestries, textiles and wallpapers from the Eastern world at large. The line featured floral and graphic prints and jacquard motifs, like this two-piece look featured here. #wwdfashion (📷: Giovanna Pavesi)
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)