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Iris Apfel: Be humble

Iris Apfel: Be humble

Iris Apfel thinks aspiring fashion stars need more humility.

The 94-year-old businesswoman is an icon in the industry thanks to her kooky appearance and insider knowledge.

With so much experience under her belt it's no big shock that Iris often gives talks to fashion hopefuls, providing tips on breaking into the business.

“We’ve taught them that it’s important to be passionate about what you do, otherwise don’t do it. We’ve shown them the possibilities that exist under the big umbrella of fashion. Fashion is not a runway bubble," she told, referring to her lessons with students from the University of Texas.

“We’ve tried to instil the fact that they have to start from the bottom and not expect the corner office right off the bat... Some of them need a sense of humility. A lot of young people today think they know everything. Try every opportunity that pops by.”

It's important for Iris to nurture these fresh faces, as she feels there's something missing from the industry today. Speaking about originality, Iris admits she doesn't think people are daring enough. In fact, she believes everyone is copying the next person and that there's "not enough zip" to new creations.

“There are very few towering talents, very few, and a lot of mediocrity... it’s nothing like it used to be in the 60s and 70s and 80s, even. We had so many greats," she sighed.

So how has Iris managed to make such a big name for herself in such a competitive world?

“Things just have happened and I’ve worked very hard and I’ve tried my best,” she explained. “I make a mistake and I try to correct it and I don’t think I know everything.”

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