There’s nobody quite like Iris Apfel. Born in New York City in August 1921, the 101-year-old style icon has become known around the world for her more-is-more approach to fashion, life, and work. Famous for her black-rimmed glasses and penchant for statement accessories, and with more than two-million followers on Instagram, it’s no surprise that Apfel has now turned her attention to the beauty world, partnering with Ciaté London on a collection that’s just as bright and unique as she is.
“My beauty and makeup style has grown along with me,” Apfel recently told GRAZIA. “As I’ve grown and evolved, so has my beauty style. I love wearing brightly coloured lipstick and interesting eyeshadow colours to complement the fashion I wear … It’s part of how I express myself, along with fashion. I put on my bright lipstick and I feel confident in myself.”
The Ciaté London collection perfectly replicates Apfel’s beauty taste with a range of three lipsticks (two bright shades, a pink and a red, plus a perfect nude thrown in for good measure), two sparkling eyeshadow palettes, a makeup bag featuring Apfel’s face, and a range of nail wraps decorated with polka dots, flowers, Apfel’s signature glasses, and more.
At a time when the trend cycle is moving faster than ever before, Apfel’s preference for fun over what’s in style feels more revolutionary than ever. “I don’t follow trends. I always like to dress my own way—fashion should always be fun,” she said. I think you stay original by being yourself, not by falling into the trap of following trends and trying to be like everybody else, look like everybody else, and say what everybody else is saying. If you know yourself, you stay true to yourself.”
But, of course, a lifetime steering clear of passing trends doesn’t mean that Apfel hasn’t changed her look throughout the years. While her dedication to maximalism and layered bangles has stuck, her preferences for beauty looks have shifted with time. “When I was younger, I did my eyes up like Miss Piggy. I loved heavy, big lashes, which we got with moustache wax. You put a chunk of it in a spoon and held a flame underneath, then you took a brush and you kept building the lashes layer after layer, and beaded the ends. It was great-looking,” she told GRAZIA. And while her new Ciaté London collaboration doesn’t involve any products that need to be applied using a spoon or open flame, both eyeshadow palettes in the collection include a signature pop of colour, intended to be worn alongside the accompanying nude and bronze shades.
Since turning 101, Apfel hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down, continuing to live—and work—at the same pace she did decades ago. “Youthfulness is how you feel. Getting older is not easy but keeping moving helps a lot,” she said. “Also, I have a lot of fun—in how I dress, how I do my makeup, and how I try and hold on to my child-like need for discovery.”
The Iris Apfel x Ciaté London collection is launching exclusively in MECCA on September 27.