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Style icon Iris Apfel launches H&M collection to celebrate 100th birthday

<i>Courtesy of H&M</i><br/>H&M has unveiled its
Courtesy of H&M
H&M has unveiled its "playfully over-the-top" collaboration with renowned interior designer and longtime style icon Iris Apfel. This green tiered kaftan is a highlight of the collection.

Leah Dolan, CNN

H&M has unveiled its “playfully over-the-top” collaboration with renowned interior designer and longtime style icon Iris Apfel, releasing images of the long-awaited collection on Wednesday.

The collection, announced last year to mark the star’s 100th birthday, includes an array of characteristically eclectic jewelry — including a molded bust of Apfel as a ring — and will be on sale from the end of March.

Vibrant floral loafers, tiered maxi kaftans and cropped ruched jackets in teal, emerald and purple are among the key pieces set to be released. Chunky statement jewelry — a signature of Apfel’s distinctive style — will also be made available alongside loud tailored jackets and matching pants. In a press release, H&M said all materials used in the collection are either recycled or “more sustainably sourced.”

Apfel, a lifelong New Yorker, began her career as a copy runner at Women’s Wear Daily and worked for interior designer Elinor Johnson. She set up her own interiors business, Old World Weavers, with her late husband Carl Apfel in 1950. Their clientele included nine different US presidents for whom they carried out decoration and restoration projects at the White House.

In 2005, the Metropolitan Museum of Art staged “Rara Avis (Rare Bird): The Irreverent Iris Apfel,” an exhibition of Apfel’s personal archive of clothing and accessories. In 2018, she became the oldest person to be immortalized as a Barbie doll. “I think it’s totally hysterical,” she told CNN at the time.

“Iris epitomizes personal style — a style that is both beautifully flamboyant and eclectic as well as being totally ageless,” said Ann-Sofie Johansson, creative advisor at H&M Womenswear, in a press statement. “She shows what fashion is all about: it’s a means of expressing yourself, who you are or want to be and a way to have fun.”

In a previous interview with CNN, Apfel offered some timeless style advice. “The world is becoming so homogenized, it’s very boring,” she said. “I think difference is what’s so interesting. Be yourself.”

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