97-year-old woman proves age is just a number after signing top modelling contract

Danielle Fowler
Freelance Writer
Iris Apfel, 97, has just signed to one of the world’s top modelling agencies [Photo: Getty]

Famed for her saucer spectacles, record-worthy stacks of jewellery and no-nonsense attitude, Iris Apfel is one of fashion‘s most cherished darlings.

Now, the interior designer and eternal style icon has added another impressive string to her bow and been signed by IMG modelling agency, aged 97.

Proving age is just a number, Apfel will be represented by the company – which lists models Gigi Hadid and Gisele Bündchen in its starry client base –  for upcoming modelling, appearances and endorsement opportunities.


On the exciting news, she told WWD: “I’m a do-it-yourself girl. 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,” Apfel continued. “I thought it was a flash in the pan, and it’s not going to last. Somehow, people found me.”


But it’s hardly surprising, as Apfel has garnered a cult fashion following over the past few years.


Back in 2005, the Metropolitan Museum of Art ran an exhibition dedicated entirely to her wardrobe titled ‘Rara Avis (Rare Bird): The Irreverent Iris Apfel’ – making her the first living person who isn’t a designer to have their clothing put onto display at the historic venue.


Fast-forward to 2019 and she’s been the subject of her own award-winning Netflix documentary, become the oldest model to ever feature on a Dazed & Confused cover alongside the release of a biography dedicated to her life and style titled: ‘Iris Apfel: Accidental Icon’.


On her most recent career venture, president of IMG Models and IMG Fashion Properties, Ivan Bart, said: “Iris is an icon with immeasurable talent.”

“At 97-years-old, Iris continues to prove that age is just a number and shouldn’t be something that defines you.”

Though her latest contract comes as no surprise, as a quick skim through her Instagram account – which boasts 1.2 million followers – offers an insight into her fashionable life pre-fame:




Hands up, who else wants to be Iris Apfel when they grow up?


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