At 97 years old, Iris Apfel has signed with her first ‘proper agent’.
The nonagenarian fashion icon had been modelling for major fashion and beauty brands for years, but last week it was announced that she is newly represented by IMG Models — the same agency that managed the careers of Gigi Hadid, Karlie Kloss, and Miranda Kerr, among many others.
Even as she’s pushing 100, Apfel shows no signs of slowing down and told WWD she’s ‘very excited’ about her new deal.
IMG will represent her for modelling, appearances, and endorsements — though don’t expect to see her strutting her stuff on the catwalk.
‘How can I compete on the runway? That’s ridiculous,’ she said. ‘We’ll be doing hopefully collaborations, or maybe I’ll be a spokesperson. I leave it to them. They know better than I.
‘I’ve had all kinds of interesting commissions in my limited career. Everything from vodka and automobiles to beauty products and I’ve also had a number of interesting collaborations with big stores like Bon Marché in Paris, the Landmark Mall in Hong Kong, Macy’s and Bergdorf Goodman.’
Over the past decade, in particular, Apfel has modelled for a seriously impressive roster of big-name fashion and beauty brands.
She’s faced campaigns for Kate Spade, MAC Cosmetics, Alexis Bittar, Macy’s INC, Blue Illusion, HSN, Le Bon Marché, and the German brand Aigner.
In each one, she’s showed off a facet of her style, including her signature oversized round glasses.
For several, she’s posed right alongside models a quarter of her age, including Karlie, Toni Garnn, Tavi Gevinson, and Jourdan Dunn.
And no one is as surprised by her late-in-life modelling career than Apfel herself. Though she’s had a long career in fashion, it was owning her own textile company, Old World Weavers, from 1950 that kept her in the fashion world.
‘I never expected my life would take this turn so I never prepared for it. It all just happened so suddenly, and I thought at my tender age, I’m not going to set up offices and get involved with all kinds of things,’ she said.
‘I thought it was a flash in the pan, and it’s not going to last. Somehow, people found me. People would just call. Tommy Hilfiger said that was no way to do it, and he put us together. I’m very excited and very grateful.’
In addition to modelling, she also designs her own clothing and accessories line for HSN and published a book last year.
‘My husband, until he passed on, we used to sit there and laugh and laugh, and I’d say I’m no different than I was 70 years ago, and all of a sudden, I’m cool, I’m a hot property. It’s ridiculous. People tell me it’s because I’m real…and say what I think,’ she added.
Her new agency is home to an impressive list of stars, inducing Alessandra Ambrosio, Ashley Graham, Amber Valletta, Barbara Palvin, Bella Hadid, Candice Swanepoel, Elsa Hosk, Gisele, Hailey Bieber, Joan Smalls, Kaia Gerber, Kate Moss, Lily Aldridge, Martha Hunt, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Stephanie Seymour, and Thylane Blondeau.
They’ve also signed one other ‘mature’ model: Elon Musk’s 70-year-old model Maye Musk.